|Mr Chirnside says it is quiet at the top of the 243-metre-tall Soul building on the Gold Coast. Click to enlarge.|
Abseiling daredevils keep Gold Coast skyscrapers clean, top to bottom: Meet the workers who dangle from ropes hundreds of metres from the ground to keep the Gold Coast's skyscrapers clean. The iconic, gleaming towers of Surfers Paradise are visible from miles around and recognisable across the globe. The most effective way to maintain their shine is by sending someone out on a rope with a squeegee. Dean Chirnside is one such man.
His company maintains several towers, inside and out, across the glitter strip including the 243-metre-tall Soul building. "Everything is a lot smaller to look down at," Mr Chirnside told ABC Gold Coast. "It's quite quiet up there … the sounds doesn't travel up so far."
Cleaning tall buildings is in his blood. His father started a window cleaning business when they moved to the Gold Coast in 1986. Although the buildings were not as tall back then, Mr Chirnside worked in the family business during school holidays.
"A job came up as an abseiler and I took it and it's been great ever since," he said. "The view is great. You're not locked up in an office — fresh air, you're out in the sun. "When you are hanging outside someone's window they're always keen to have a chat."
When you are swinging around outside hotel windows high above the ground, occasionally you will stumble across some private, intimate moments. "From time to time you may catch someone out," Mr Chirnside said. "It's not something we're looking out for it but it's something that does happen from time to time."
The tower cleaning can take up to five days to complete. Although it may look frightening, Mr Chirnside said the danger was minimal as long as you keep your mind on the job. "It's pretty demanding, you're hanging on a rope for hours at a time, out in the sun," he said. "You've just got to really just get it done." The crews even time their work to be back on solid ground in time for lunch.
|Having someone abseil with a bucket and squeegee remains the most cost-effective way to clean skyscrapers.|