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Additional drones to protect NSW beaches this summer

Extra protection in the sky will be given to beachgoers this summer as 15 additional drones will be flying at NSW beaches in order to help lifeguards spot potential risks, as reported in a recent announcement.

The drone program, which was initially trialled last year, is expanding. The program will be funded through the A$ 16 million NSW Government Shark Management Strategy after a successful trial last summer on the north coast.

Extra safety and support will be given by the new drones to thousands of residents and visitors that are expected to hit the beach over the summer months, starting this October.

The initiative is being done by the NSW Government in partnership with Surf Life Saving NSW.

The drones will provide an extra set of eyes for greater coverage of dangers along the coast and a faster response to incidents at key blackspot locations.

The new drones will be located at the following areas: Kingscliff, Yamba, Coffs Coast, Tacking Point Port Macquarie, Birubi, Redhead, Avoca, Kiama, Mollymook, Pambula and Tathra.

The duration of the trial will continue until April 2019. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will complement the helicopter aerial surveillance for the upcoming school holidays from Tweet to Wollongong.

Drones have been a terrific tool to help prevent attacks and any other serious water risks.

The drones are fitted with alerting devices and have the ability to drop an inflatable rescue pod to distressed swimmers, thereby becoming a vital part of the arsenal of surf lifesavers this coming season.

Using drones as a beach safety tool makes complete sense as they allow lifesavers to spot the risk and get straight to work to prevent a potential attach or drowning.

Drones are considered as life-saving technology in a country like Australia.

The vision will be delivered live back to the team at the beach, allowing them to spot any potential problems in the water as they happen, making it genuinely lifesaving technology.

The alert devices fitted to the UAVs can be used to help evacuate swimmers from the water if required, especially when a shark is spotted.

Moreover, the technological advancements in the cameras and vision resolution will also assist with shark species identification and research into the behaviour of marine life.

The addition of UAVs to the beach safety toolkit is exciting for volunteer lifesavers and provides another pathway for people to contribute to protecting their local communities.

UAVs will also provide great new opportunities for the wider community to get involved in Surf Life Saving, even if they do not have a Bronze Medallion and are not active surf lifesavers.

300 lifesavers will be trained as pilots of the UAVs over the season. If people can fly a drone or would want to learn how to do so, there is now an opportunity for them to get involved and play a part in helping to protect people on our beaches.

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