As the warmer weather is approaching us and our beaches have unfortunately already seen preventable incidents, it’s a timely reminder to be surf aware and the importance of the work provided by Surf Life Saving Australia.
Patrols have started again on beaches by Australian Lifeguard Services (ALS) and with volunteers at local surf clubs, and you may have seen the Surf Life Saving Australia Drone Partners, the Westpac Little Ripper drone, being flown off local beaches. This amazing service supplies an extra pair of eyes on the surf in providing aid for rescues and important research in water and weather conditions and marine life.
Port Macquarie is very fortunate to have the Westpac Little Ripper drone service flying every morning off local beaches under the watchful eye of pilot Nick Dyson. Nick has been flying the drones for the past two years after completing the training program locally. The drones have a 5 km flying range and a 25-minute flight time before the batteries require charging.
The drone is equipped with video surveillance cameras and a rescue tube that inflates upon contact with water. Each drone weighs around 14 kg and is worth up to $20,000. There are currently 17 drones in the fleet across NSW and Queensland under the guidance of The Ripper Group, in conjunction with Surf Life Saving Australia.
The Westpac Little Ripper service is proud to partner with major sponsor Westpac to provide the invaluable extra service to SLS Australia.