Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Australian lifesaving drone in world first ocean rescue

Australian lifesaving drone in world first ocean rescue
January 19, 2018

Two Australian swimmers have become the first people to be rescued in the ocean by a drone when the aerial lifesaver dropped a safety device to the distressed pair yesterday.

Having only been deployed yesterday morning (Thursday 18th January), the rescue drone was immediately put to use in a real rescue at Lennox Head on the NSW far north coast

The incident occurred when two teenage boys were seen in distress in three metre swells about a kilometre north of Lennox Head’s patrolled area.

A member of the public reported seeing the boys, and within two minutes the new drone had located the pair and dropped an inflatable flotation device to them.

The boys clung to the rescue pod and were able to swim to shore.

Surf Life Saving NSW said the boys were exhausted but unharmed.

Lifeguard Supervisor Jai Sheridan told the Gold Coast Bulletin "I was able to launch it, fly it to the location, and drop the pod all in about one to two minutes.

"On a normal day that would have taken our lifeguards a few minutes longer to reach the members of the public."

Australia is leading the use of the technology in surf lifesaving, with dozens of drones being trialled on beaches around the country.

The rescue drones were deployed at Lennox Head as part of a NSW Government backed trial on the NSW north coast.

The NSW Government announced last month it would invest $430,000 in the drone technology project.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said that investment had paid off when the technology was used in the dramatic rescue, advising “this is a world-first rescue.

"Never before has a drone fitted with a flotation device been used to rescue swimmers like this."

Along with their ability to spot swimmers in trouble and deliver life saving devices faster than traditional lifesaving techniques, like launching surfboards or rubber dinghies, the drones are also being used in Australia to spot underwater predators like sharks and jellyfish.

Artificial intelligence is being developed using thousands of images captured by a drone camera to build an algorithm that can identify different ocean objects.

The software can differentiate between sea creatures, like sharks which it can recognise with more than 90% accuracy, compared to about 16% with the naked eye.

While some beaches in Australia have shark nets, there are moves for them to be replaced by a range of alternatives, including sonar technology and aerial patrols.

An inquiry last year that nets did not guarantee public safety any more than other deterrents but caused significant damage to marine life.

The NSW north coast trial finishes at the end of April after which Surf Life Saving NSW will then assess a wider roll-out of the project.

Image: Two young swimmers in distress cling to an inflatable flotation device dropped to them by a drone in the ocean off Lennox Head yesterday. Courtesy of Surf Life Saving NSW.

15th December 2017 - LEADING PROFESSIONAL LIFEGUARD SAYS SWIM BETWEEN FLAGS MESSAGE IS ‘DESIRABLE BUT UNREALISTIC’

14th December 2017 - SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTRALIA REVEALS 116 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS IN 2016/17 

13th December 2017 - NEW ZEALAND WATER SAFETY SECTOR SOUNDS ALARM BELLS AHEAD OF HOLIDAY PERIOD 

30th June 2017 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING REPORT REVEALS NON-FATAL DROWNING INCIDENTS ARE ON THE RISE 

12th January 2017 - LIFEGUARDING PROFESSIONALS ACT ON ‘UNPRECEDENTED’ NSW DROWNING TOLL WITH WATER SAFETY CAMP

6th January 2017 - BONDI RESCUE EDUCATES THE WORLD ABOUT BEACH SAFETY 

28th January 2016 - LIFE SAVING LEADERS RECOGNISED BY AUSTRALIA DAY HONOURS

7th January 2016 - SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTRALIA ASKS BEACHGOERS TO PLAY A ROLE IN SAFETY

27th December 2015 - PROFESSIONAL LIFEGUARDS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR SAFETY FIRST AT THE BEACH 


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

IP HUB

Talk To Us For Independent Advice & Specialised Services We're business people, not sales reps IP HUB is one of Australia’s leading advisors on telecoms for both small businesses and…

read more

Marketing / Technology

 
 

TECHNOGYM AUSTRALIA

Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

TouchCloud Global

Activating skyscapes for tourism, art, leisure and living TouchCloud Global (TCg) is a highly specialised international consultancy, broker and principal, devoted solely to activating and energising…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Recreation / Safety / Tourism

 
 

HTS Group Ltd

HTS Group Ltd provides a complete design, system integration, installation and maintenance package to the transportation, traffic engineering, parking and sports timing industries in New Zealand,…

read more

Aquatics / Events / Sport / Technology

 
 

Tim Batt Water Solutions

Tim Batt Water Solutions are at the very forefront of the commercial aquatic business in Australia, with over 30 years specific experience supplying and installing chemical control and dosing…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Recreation / Technology / Venues

 
 

COMMERCIAL AQUATICS AUSTRALIA

Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

LANDER & ROGERS

Lander & Rogers' Sports Business Group is the leading sports law practice in Australia, representing over 150 national and international sporting bodies. Our clients include international…

read more

Legal

 
 

GEOFF NINNES FONG AND PARTNERS

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business