Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has partnered with Westpac to introduce 12 new Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drones across the state.
Lifeguards and lifesavers will be equipped with drones which can relay vision with pinpoint accuracy, monitor marine life such as crocodiles and sharks, and have the potential in the future to drop buoyancy devices to assist swimmers in distress.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drone Program is providing 51 drones to Surf Life Saving Clubs nationally, including the fleet of 12 in Queensland which will monitor around 25 beaches.
SLSQ Lifesaving Operations Coordinator Jason Argent said the drone technology would provide additional capabilities to help lifeguards and lifesavers protect beachgoers.
“The surveillance capabilities of the drones will enable us to closely monitor rips and spot swimmers in need of help. Our lifeguards and lifesavers perform a significant number of rescues along Queensland’s coastline and the new drones will enable us to help protect more people than ever before,” Mr Argent said.
“We’re pleased to be able to continue our relationship with Westpac beyond our work with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service to support local clubs and communities along the coast through the new Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drone program.”
Westpac Chief Executive Consumer Bank George Frazis said Westpac was proud to support the evolution of search and rescue services in the state.
“The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drones will support local lifeguards and lifesavers across Queensland by providing more eyes in the sky to support patrols and rescue services. This new technology will help those on the frontline to spot rips, hazards in the water and distressed swimmers, meaning Australian families can feel safer,” Mr Frazis said.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drones will be operated in the following locations:
- Sunshine Coast – 4 drones
- Gold Coast and North Stradbroke Island – 3 drones
- Wide Bay Capricorn – Bundaberg and Rockhampton
- North Barrier – Townsville and Mackay
- North Queensland – Cairns and Green Island