Ocean pool plan shapes up

Long-held plans for an ocean pool at Cottesloe beach are about to be released for public feedback as momentum builds for the landmark proposal.

Tom Locke, who has been spearheading the push for an ocean pool for the past 12 years, said there would be a public briefing for Town of Cottesloe ratepayers on Thursday.

It would provide the clearest images yet of the plan, which would involve building a sheltered swimming area at the beach's southern end.

The pool, which would be created by extending Cottesloe's rubble groyne around in a U-shape back towards the beach, would be about 75m long and 25m wide.

Mr Locke said the design had been thrashed out by some of WA's top engineering and sporting experts.

Among them were Jorg Imberger, head of the Centre for Water Research at the University of WA, and John Bloomfield, emeritus professor at UWA's school of sport science, exercise and health.

Two of Professor Imberger's students, Luan Nguyen and Dan Courtney, also played key roles in the proposal's design, which is supposed to allow natural flushing by including a layer of porous rocks through which the water could flow.

"WA is crying out for its first ocean pool and all the Town of Cottesloe needs to do is reach out to the world's best practice consultancy at its fingertips and it can happen," Mr Locke said yesterday.

He said impetus for the pool stemmed from the death of Ken Crew, who was killed by a great white shark at Cottesloe just metres from shore in 2000.

Mr Locke said that incident, along with a recent spate of fatal shark attacks off WA, had affected people's confidence in using the water and highlighted the need for a safe swimming area.

He said added bonuses in having an ocean pool included its tourism potential and accessibility for children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The pool would have a sandy bottom, an extra set of steps on its southern side and access for the disabled from the beach.

It would need about 18,000 tonnes of stone and cost about $1.65 million, $150,000 of which would be needed for an engineering study and the rest for construction.

The West Australian

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