SURF Life Saving WA is heralding the arrival of its new drone after it spotted a shark at Secret Harbour this week within 100m of a surfer.
The drone footage prompted the closure of Secret Harbour beach on Wednesday.
SLSWA general manager Chris Peck said the drones provided an additional layer of surveillance for lifesavers to make improved decisions about beach safety.
““The integration of this technology provides a new perspective on traditional surveillance methods, integrating with existing procedures to ensure our lifesavers are equipped to respond to any situation quickly and efficiently,” he said.
On Wednesday, the drone patrol was conducting regular flights when it spotted the shark 200m offshore near the red and yellow flags.
Within 15 seconds of the shark being captured on the drone footage, the operator was able to confirm it was a shark and start the beach closure.
Members of the public – including a group of about 40 school kids on surf boards – were completely evacuated from the water.
Our Drone Patrol operations and lifesavers worked quickly and efficiently together to evacuate the beach when a shark was spotted within 100m of a surfer this week! Read full story https://t.co/Un9TD3tYw5 pic.twitter.com/5q8WucFo43
— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) December 8, 2017