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Australia: Drones Rescue Swimmers by Spotting Sharks

Increasing shark attacks and unavailability of resources to rescue the victims have prompted Australian rescue authorities to start using drones to spot sharks and protect swimmers.

A new model of drones have been designed specifically for the purpose of minimising shark attacks and their severe consequences. With this technological advent, lifeguards and the Australian coast will get assistance from the sky from those drones that are all set to make their debut in the nation. The drone has been named the “Little Ripper” and looks like a mini-helicopter, reports Mashable. reported that the drones will run on batteries. It will not only spot the sharks in the beaches but will also help beach swimmers if they get into trouble. There will be a pod especially designed to be dropped from the drone to help the troubled. This pod will carry a number of lifesaving items including shark repellent, floatation devices, and medical aid measures, as is the purpose of the Little Ripper for which it has been designed. The camera-equipped drones started its trial program this week and will debut in the New South Wales region, which has been subject to almost 14 shark attacks in 2015.

Westpac is funding the trial program of the drones. “The Little Ripper is the new, high-tech eye in the sky,” Westpac’s Chief Executive Brian Hartzer said as quoted by The Verge. “There are 17 Westpac helicopters around Australia and we hope this is going to work really well and become another very welcome sight around the coastline.” If the trial becomes a success, 40 drones will be delegated across the area.

In 2015, the drone technology initiation was announced because of the increasing frequency of shark attack cases wherein around 22 such cases were reported all over Australia in the previous year. The announcement of the NSW government for implementation of shark management strategy worth $16 million was announced in October 2015. This program highlights the drone program as well as 4G listening stations.

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