Drones on shark watch in hol­i­days

The Northern Star - - NEWS -

DRONES will take to the skies dur­ing the school hol­i­days as part of the ef­forts to pre­vent shark at­tacks at our beaches.

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for North­ern NSW, Ben Franklin, said drones had proven them­selves an ef­fec­tive tool for de­tect­ing sharks.

He said the trial of drones at By­ron Bay, Bal­lina, Len­nox Head and Evans Head was part of the $430,000 in fund­ing pro­vided to Surf Life Sav­ing NSW to give life­savers “ex­tra eyes in the sky this sum­mer and de­liver live vi­sion back to the beach”.

“Surf Life Sav­ing NSW used the fund­ing to pur­chase drones and train drone pi­lots, which is al­low­ing for never-be­fore-seen shark sur­veil­lance at beaches,” Mr Franklin said.

Two of the drones will be part of mo­bile units fit­ted with a flota­tion de­vice that can be dropped down to swim­mers, an alarm and a loud­speaker.

Up to nine beaches will have the smaller drones fit­ted with Shark Spot­ter tech­nol­ogy and will fly each morn­ing.

Mr Franklin said this in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy was again prov­ing to be a gen­uine life­saver in our com­mu­ni­ties and an es­sen­tial piece of equip­ment on our beaches.

The drones will com­ple­ment he­li­copter sur­veil­lance al­ready un­der­way on the North Coast for both the Queens­land and NSW school hol­i­days.

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