More than 100 people were cleared from the water following a beach closure at Brighton Beach last Saturday morning, as Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club’s Drone Patrol spotted what was confirmed to be a hammerhead shark of approximately 2m in length.
At around 9.30am during the routine aerial surveillance, drone operator and Scarboro club member David Lim was conducting routine sweeps of the club’s main patrol area when the shark was spotted 40m offshore.
Supported by fellow club member and drone patrol spotter Martin Robinson, the spotting was quickly confirmed after hovering the drone some 10m above the shark, before contacting the surf cub’s patrol captain, and Surf Life Saving WA’s central communications SurfCom team to action a beach closure in conjunction with the City of Stirling.
During the 60min beach closure, an additional 40 minutes of surveillance of the area was conducted by drone patrol, during which time the shark had appeared to have left the immediate vicinity, the beach was re-opened at approximately 10.30am to the more than 400 beach goers on the sand
Shortly after, Surf Life Saving WA’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter sighted a shark with similar characteristics in the vicinity of Brighton Beach, which again saw the beach closed and the drone deployed for approximately 20 mins however there were no further sightings.
Surf Life Saving WA’s (SLSWA) Drone Patrol, supported by the WA State Government, is operating across five Perth beaches, with more locations due to roll out across summer.
“Surveillance is the cornerstone of what we do as lifesavers and the integration of this technology provides a new perspective on traditional surveillance methods,” SLSWA general manger Chris Peck said.
This season is the first that Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club has integrated the drone patrols into their lifesaving surveillance operations.”
“The improved situational awareness that Drone Patrol can add to localised surveillance activity compliments the regional role performed by surf life saving’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter service.”
Beach goers are reminded to choose to swim at a patrolled location over this summer period. Details of all patrolled beaches can be found at www.mybeach.com.au
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