The drone system was developed by the University of Technology Sydney and Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver. It can distinguish between sharks and other marine life, or surfers and other objects in the sea. When a potential risk is detected, the drone broadcasts a warning to swimmers or surfers. The shark sighting information can be sent to emergency services and beach lifeguards immediately to help prevent shark attacks.
“This system will help make beach recreation much safer and is a major milestone in addressing shark attacks with very real ability to save a life,” Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver CEO Eddie Bennet said in a press release.
There were 26 recorded shark attacks in Australia in last year, including two fatalities. More recently, a 17-year-old girl was killed in a shark attack on April 18 off Australia’s west coast.