Drones to help lifesaving patrols

Surf Life Saving NSW and the Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver drones will be carrying out additional aerial surveillance as part of volunteer beach patrols this weekend in some of the shark hotspots in northern NSW.

The Westpac Little Ripper drones will be used to assist volunteers patrolling at Lighthouse Beach (Ballina) and Shelley Beach this weekend in time for the start of the NSW school holidays. The drones will give lifesavers extra eyes in the sky, delivering live vision back to the beach and alerting lifesavers to any hazards such as sharks, people caught in rip currents or surfers in distress.

“We hope this will give beach goers some extra reassurance and peace of mind,” said Surf Life Saving NSW Operations Manager Andy Kent. “Along with lifesavers on the beach, having the drone in the air feeding vision back down to the beach means we can cover a greater area and alert people to any hazards we might be able to see,” said Andy Kent.

Aerial surveillance locations and times will be available on the Surf Life Saving NSW website and social media channels including Facebook and Twitter. Scheduled aerial patrols will be conducted at Lighthouse and Shelley Beaches between 9am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

This weekend's activities comes off the back of last weekend's joint operation between Surf Life Saving NSW and the Little Ripper Group using the state of the art drone technology in the search for a missing rock fisherman off Malabar in Sydney.

Fri 16 Dec 2016