Aerial drones are set to patrol some of New South Wales’ most popular beaches this summer, with Surf Life Saving NSW confirming the technology will be used to monitor social distancing guidelines in the months ahead.
Speaking at the organisation’s new control centre on Sunday, Surf Life Saving NSW president George Shales said drones will be used to suss out crowding on the shoreline.
Shales said he hopes beachgoers respect guidelines on the sand, “particularly regarding beach safety but also regarding social distancing requirements.”
The announcement comes as NSW prepares for its first full summer during the coronavirus pandemic, with life savers expecting more folks to head outside during the warmer months (obviously).
While beaches are often chock-a-block over summer, NSW’s public health order currently forbids more than 20 people gathering outside in a public place.
Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman said it won’t be their job to actively police those rules, mind you.
“Life savers are not there to police the public, that is not our job,” he said.
“We’re there to ensure a safe aquatic swimming environment. We will obviously notify NSW Police if we have any suspicions or concerns around the numbers that are at the beaches.”
In April, NSW authorities closed a number of beaches over concerns for coronavirus transmission. Those beaches reopened to the public in May.
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