With this in mind, three friends with a passion for the water and a desire to keep people safe whilst using it meant that the Plymouth initiative Wave after Wave was created to make real, practical improvements for everyone’s safe enjoyment of Plymouth’s beautiful and popular Firestone Bay. Building on the existing work of the Making Waves Plymouth project, they have joined forces with South West SUP and Ace Swimming at Royal William Yard. As a collaborative they aim to address some of the safety issues that surround enjoying the water at Firestone Bay, ensuring all bay users are aware of dangers and have access to equipment to keep them safe in and on the water.
Marcus Cronin, Co-founder of Wave After Wave, commented
“The increase in people using the water and the sense of community that has built up around that is brilliant to see. There are risks involved in swimming or paddling at Firestone Bay though and we want to help minimise these risks. In the past year, SWSUP instructors have carried out numerous rescues, first aids and given out lots of advice to members of the public which clearly shows the need for more safety information and awareness. There is so much more that could be done to make Firestone Bay safer for everyone to enjoy. “
Tors Froud, Co-founder of Wave After Wave commented.
“54% of Britain’s Ocean City cannot swim, if we are using and encouraging this Blue Space to people for its wealth of benefits we need to promote safety as the priority. We want everyone to be able to access the water, beaches and unique coastline that we have in Plymouth by also keeping themselves, their families, and other users safe and respected.”
Wave after Wave has already secured funding to provide free use of buoyancy aids from The Shack coffee shop in Firestone Arch, which water users can borrow on loan, free of charge ensuring that they are safe on the water. But the work does not stop there, with so much more that could be done to bring safety features and equipment to Firestone Bay for water users.
Without access to funding, they have started a fundraising campaign, this campaign will aim to raise £15,000 to provide the following:
• A defibrillator, easy and safe to use by anyone. Close to the beach at Devil’s Point
• A beach webcam that would provide water users with live conditions, meaning everyone could plan their activity better. This would also link for surveillance by harbour authorities and the RNLI providing valuable information in an emergency.
• Create new signage at all access points. Highlighting designated swim areas, safety equipment etc.
• Improve access to the water through Firestone Arch.
• Lastly, improve access to watersports for all, by running subsidised water safety days and kids’ club sessions.
Firestone Bay users have already started donating but they need more awareness and more people to donate to enable these fantastic safety initiatives to be actioned. They need your help to get more donations, no matter how big or small every penny counts, and will undoubtedly help educate water users and even save lives.For more information, please go to the Crowdfunder page
Improving Water Safety at Firestone Bay – a Environment crowdfunding project in Plymouth by Wave after Wave (crowdfunder.co.uk)
9 year old Mila uses the Bay a lot with her family and over the Easter holidays sold sea themed cupcakes raising £665.60
“I just love doing things that make other people feel good and I love to see a smile on their face”.
What do the Firestone Bay community say?
“My daily swim spot is Firestone bay and I believe it is currently being seriously overlooked. On a weekend morning, there will easily be over 50 people swimming from the bay at any one time. As a very local small business area, the swimming community is extremely important to me and their safety is paramount. The lack of signage, defibrillator and other safety measures is quite obvious.”
Jo Barker – YOKE Salon, RWY
“I think it’s absolutely awesome that people are getting out and swimming in our beautiful ocean, however, there is a lack of awareness on safety and knowing your own limits. I wholeheartedly believe that crowdfunding for safety equipment and education will be hugely beneficial within the community – not only for providing much-needed education, knowledge, and advice on open water and coastal safety but it will also offer a boost of confidence, mindfulness, and support to those that may be in need.”
Sarah Trotter – Wild Swimmer