Surprise: Social Distancing Drones to Patrol NSW Beaches This Summer


With clouds of ash hanging in the sky for most of last summer and beaches closed in the last weeks of warmer weather due to the early COVID-19 lockdown, no doubt Aussies are hoping to make up for more than a few beach days lost this coming summer.

So long as we all approach beach visits safely and maintain a safe distance between groups, then likely we’ll be able to go about our business as (close to) normal, but just in case, we’ve now been told that drones will be on patrol to ensure social distancing measures are being taken seriously at all times.

Surf Life Saving NSW has confirmed a fleet of “unmanned ariel vehicles” will be used this summer to assist local councils in ensuring beaches avoid overcrowding.

Surf Life Saving NSW president, George Shales, said: “With many more people expected to head to the coast this summer, we want to send a strong message to all beachgoers to respect the advice and direction of surf lifesavers and lifeguards – particularly regarding beach safety but also regarding social distancing requirements.

“This season we are reminding beachgoers to swim between the red and yellow flags at patrolled locations but to also adhere to the health orders regarding social distancing.”

Not only will the drones assist clubs in ensuring social distancing is being carried out by beachgoers, but that the unmanned aerial vehicles will also assist in emergency responses for water incidents.

Drones will not replace a police presence. Holidaymakers and visitors to the beach can still expect authorities to patrol the area, as they did earlier in 2020.

In both March and April, police were forced to close down a number of Sydney beaches after large crowds gathered and ignored social distancing restrictions.

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