The installation of potentially life-saving safety equipment at Wagga Beach has been pushed back due to high water levels and the COVID lockdown, but council is confident the equipment will be up and running by the start of summer.
Mick Dasey, the regional manager of Royal Life Saving, said he was hoping to have the gear installed by now but heavy rain has flooded key sections of the beach.
"Some of the equipment has arrived but the problem is they have to be put in the concrete pads on the foreshore area and the river has jumped in tide so we have got to wait for the water to subside before we put that in," he said.
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The COVID lockdown has also caused delays in the delivery of the defibrillator, which has been pre-programmed by a specialist in Sydney and will be installed in the coming weeks.
"The river and everything else that has gone on it means it just hasn't been as straightforward as we hoped it would be but we can't just plomp it anywhere," Mr Dasey said.
"It will be critical to have it ready to go by summer because the swimming season is just around the corner. I'm hoping it will all be good to go by the end of the month."
Wagga City Council has advised it expects to start the installation of the life rings and the debibrillator "in the next few weeks" if weather permits.
Local resident Jenny McKinnon was one of the witnesses when a man was resuscitated by four off-duty medical professionals after almost drowning at Wagga Beach.
She said it is "a big relief" that the defibrillator will be installed in the coming weeks and something which will benefit the whole community.
"The delays have been disappointing but the fact that they're getting it back on track now is a big relief," Dr McKinnon said.
"It was incredibly important to get the defibrillator established before the next swimming season and it's really just the minimal safety requirement we need at the beach so anyone can go there and enjoy a swim and know that a defribrillator is there if it's needed."
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