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Underwater cameras to improve pool safety

Lifeguard underwater camera monitor

An underwater camera system has been installed at Stokesley Leisure Centre to support lifeguards in their safe supervision of the swimming pool.

An underwater camera system has been installed at Stokesley Leisure Centre to support lifeguards in their safe supervision of the swimming pool.

A series of small cameras have been fitted to the side of the swimming pool tank which record ‘real-time’ underwater images – they are then displayed on a monitor at the lifeguard’s station giving the lifeguard 100% vision below the pool’s surface.

The unique feature of the underwater detection camera system is its ability to detect incidents in the swimming pool. Supported by intelligent computer software, the cameras track each swimmer and detect any lack of or irregular movement – when that happens it triggers a series of alerts to the lifeguard for them to assess and respond to. Above water level cameras have also been installed to provide a full view of the swimming pool hall.

Underwater detection cameras have become a recognised safety system for swimming pool operators and there has been a significant rise in their prevalence in leisure centres across the UK. The Health and Safety Executive recognised this and in February 2018 its published guidance stated: ‘Cameras and computer aided surveillance systems may also be used to assist in pool supervision.’

“These cameras will be a massive aid to our lifeguards helping them to detect what is happening below water as well as from the top,” said Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Bridget Fortune.

“They are not intrusive – customers will probably not be aware they are there. But it gives them security that if anything happens in the pool we will be able to react very quickly.”

She said footage from the pool will be kept for seven days and all footage will be stored in compliance with strict GDPR protocols and is only accessible to trained managers.

Published: 15th December 2020

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