As we go into the winter here in New York, summer is just getting started in Perth, Australia. 7 News Perth reports that this year the lifeguards will have a new member on their team, a drone. In Surf Life Saving colors these drones will help the lifeguards patrol the beach, looking for swimmers in need and to spot any sharks nearby. Both swimmers and sharks are very hard to spot from the beach, but from a drone’s point of view, they are clearly visible in the ocean water.
Five beaches will use the drones
Initially, five beaches will be outfitted with what seems to be DJI Phantom drones but more are likely to be added. The beaches are Cottesloe, Quinns-Mindarie, Mullaloo, City Beach, and Secret Harbour. Each beach club gets one drone. They will be used on demand and for preventative use to keep members of the public safe. Twenty lifeguards are being trained to use these drones 7 days a week, between the hours of 6am and 11am when the environmental conditions are optimal for drone flying. The drones cannot be used in high wind conditions. The search helicopter will stay in use. The drone patrol has cost $100,000 Australian Dollars.