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Of that number, 14 incidents occurred in New South Wales, including the year’s single fatality.Repeated calls for action led the NSW government to announce a million (US.4 million) shark management strategy, which was unveiled in October of last year.The drone is capable of one hour of flight time with a single charge, and its high-tech camera can be used for shark spotting in conjunction with a specialized algorithm that is currently in development.previously reported, Australia saw 22 unprovoked shark attacks last year.

Battery-powered, the drones are capable of both spotting sharks off the Australian coast and assisting beachgoers who find themselves in trouble, by way of a specially designed pod that can be dropped to people in distress.As the Little Ripper is tailor-made for rescue situations, the pods can carry a variety of lifesaving items, including flotation devices, shark repellent, and even medical equipment. Baird predicted that should the trial prove successful, every lifesaving club in New South Wales could eventually find itself with access to the drones.He also pointed out that an academy is being established, which will properly train lifeguards to use the drones.The Little Ripper is the brainchild of philanthropist Kevin Weldon, the founding president of the International Life Saving Federation, and is being developed in concert with Newcastle firm Skyline. More stable in crosswinds than other drone models, the Little Ripper also represents a cheaper and more agile alternative to a more traditional helicopter rescue.

Westpac, which sponsors the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Services, announced the drone trial on Sunday.

In addition to testing the drones’ capabilities for spotting sharks, the trial will help ascertain their suitability for the coastal regions of Australia.


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