Lifeguards Use Drones to Track Sharks

posted: 06/11/15
by: Lori Cuthbert, Discovery News
Great white shark
Carl Roessler/Digital Vision

A local beach group in California has a new tool in its safely belt: a drone that it uses to patrol the waters just off shore.

When there's a shark sighting, the Seal Beach Marine Safety Department usually sends a lifeguard on a jetski out to check it, a process that can take hours. But with a drone, it's very fast.

"The whole thing took me 20 minutes," Department Chief Joe Bailey told the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch website.

"It's been the most effective way to spot sharks. Every time we've flown it, we have seen sharks. We've used it so successfully to find the sharks, we have started to realize there could be a number of great uses."

The drone also allows lifeguards to measure the sharks. So far this beach season, the sharks have been five to six feet long and so aren't thought to be dangerous to swimmers; they'd rather eat fish and stingrays.

This post originally appeared on Discovery News

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