More eyes in the skies

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS POLICE AND COURT - Ais­ling Bren­nan ais­ling.bren­nan@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

THERE’S go­ing to be a few ex­tra eyes keep­ing watch over our oceans for sharks this sum­mer.

Four new re­cruits from the ETC job seek­ers pro­gram are in the fi­nal stages of train­ing to use the West­pac Lit­tle Rip­per Drone tech­nol­ogy and pro­vide ex­tra shark sur­veil­lance across the re­gion’s beaches and wa­ter­ways.

The Rip­per Avi­a­tion Academy’s gen­eral man­ager Rob Cur­tis said the four-week in­tern­ship pro­vided valu­able aerial sur­veil­lance train­ing and en­sured the stu­dents would be ca­pa­ble of im­prov­ing pub­lic safety.

“The ben­e­fit of work­ing with Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous and suc­cess­ful search and res­cue drones, the West­pac Lit­tle Rip­per life­savers, is that they pro­vide a bird’s eye view over our wa­ter­ways,” he said.

“Over pre­vi­ous sea­sons, we’ve suc­cess­fully em­ployed the West­pac Lit­tle Rip­per Life­saver drones for shark sur­veil­lance, spot­ting swim­mers in dis­tress, iden­ti­fy­ing danger­ous con­di­tions such as rips and con­duct­ing the world’s first surf res­cue by a drone.”

ETC CEO Jenny Bar­nett said she looked for­ward to get­ting more young job seek­ers in­volved with The Lit­tle Rip­per Group.

PHOTO: SCOTT POWICK

SUR­VEIL­LANCE CREW: Kaeeann Phillips, Jar­rod Mye, Chase Coghill and Dy­lan Finn are learn­ing how to op­er­ate shark sur­veil­lance drone tech­nol­ogy.

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