Extra lighting wanted at Camden War Memorial Pool

Safety fears: Mark Ruscoe bumped his head while doing backstroke at the Camden War Memorial Pool. He said the pool's lighting was inadequate for night swimming.
Safety fears: Mark Ruscoe bumped his head while doing backstroke at the Camden War Memorial Pool. He said the pool's lighting was inadequate for night swimming.

Avid swimmer Mark Ruscoe is concerned about people’s safety after injuring himself at the Camden War Memorial Pool.

Mr Ruscoe was taking a twilight swim last week and while doing backstroke he could not see the flags so he bumped his head on the pool wall.

He said the pool’s lighting was to blame. “There are only four main lights near the pool, but it is not adequate,” Mr Ruscoe said.

“I couldn’t see the flags, I count my strokes but this is the first time something like this has happened to me.

“Somebody will really hurt themselves.”

The Camden resident is a former PE teacher, he has been a swimming coach for 35 years and is a life member of the Camden Swimming Club.

Mr Ruscoe said the club’s Monday night gatherings often attract hundreds of people.

“In daylight savings it is not so bad but when it gets closer to 7.30-8pm and we are losing light it becomes hard to see, especially in the shallow end,” he said.

When the pool was upgraded in 2011, new floodlights were installed at the 50m pool.

A Camden Council spokeswoman said these lights meet Australian standards for competition swimming.

“Additional general lighting was also provided to the leisure pool and pathways,” she said.

“More lights were installed in 2015 to provide additional light to the end of the 50m pool at the swimming club’s request.”

Mr Ruscoe said these lights still did not provide enough lighting.

“Before the pool was refurbished we had six lights around the 50m pool, now we have four and a small flood light which doesn’t do much,” he said.

“It annoys me because if somebody on council was interested in swimming the lighting would have been fixed years ago.

“To see hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on lighting for sporting fields, it wouldn’t be expensive to fix the lighting at the pools.”

Mr Ruscoe said the swimming club had written letters to council over the past few years to complain about the lighting.

“Ideally we would like two more lights for the area near the shallow end,” he said.

“We need better lighting at that end of the pool.”

The council spokeswoman said council does not have any record of complaints regarding the pool’s lighting.

“We are not aware of any request by the swimming club to update the lighting, nor has the YMCA received any requests in recent times,” she said. “There are no current plans to upgrade the lighting.

“Council also conducts ongoing liaison between YMCA staff and the club, and lighting levels have not been raised as an issue.”