May 24, 2022

Drones Patrol The Beaches For Sharks

Look, up there in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s wait…a drone?

Meet ‘Little Ripper’ the newest addition to life saving teams on the beaches of Newcastle, Hawkes Nest and Byron Bay in northern New South Wales.

Little Ripper’s job is to patrol the beaches from the sky on the lookout for sharks and other potential dangers in the surf. With shark attacks on the rise drones may become a permanent fixture in Life Guard teams around Australia.

The drone looks like a mini-helicopter and is battery-powered. Westpac is sponsoring the flying machines and is being trialed to determine the suitability for Australia’s coastal conditions. It is also developing a system of aerial detection for sharks using its advanced vision capabilities. In other words, it may prove easier for the drones to spot sharks from above rather than once they are close enough to the beach to be detected by human eyes.

The use of this technology may also assist life saving teams with early detection of dangerous surf conditions and people in distress in the ocean. There are plans to equip some drones with life saving packs that can be dropped from above and contain floatation devices and medical supplies.

The future of life saving on beaches may have just gotten safer with the ability to respond quickly from the sky.

Photo Credit (Mashable)


Julie Dunmore

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