Beach safety initiatives at Byron Bay’s Main Beach will be expanded during the school holidays this summer season with Surf Lifesaving NSW (SLSNSW) to introduce drones to complement surf lifesaving services in the Shire.
The surveillance program will operate at Main Beach seven days a week during the Queensland and NSW school holidays, allowing surf lifesavers and lifeguards to keep an aerial ‘eye’ on swimmers and surfers in the water, checking on their well-being as well as patrolling for sharks.
The decision comes after the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and SLSNSW trialled drone surveillance on NSW beaches as a way of improving beach safety and gathering data and footage on shark behaviour.
Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, said Main Beach was one of the busiest in Australia and it is the perfect location for the drone.
“I really welcome the addition of drone surveillance and I commend DPI and SLSNSW in not only continuing the program, but expanding it to ensure each coastal local government area in the State will receive a level of aerial surveillance,” Mayor Richardson said.
The drone will be operational from 19 September 2020 – 11 October 2020, as well as the 2020/21 Christmas and Easter holidays.