Surf Life Saving NSW Swim Between The Flags

UAVs in Surf Life Saving

Surf Life Saving NSW and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have announced an extension of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) trial to provide beach safety surveillance over 15 beaches.

The UAVs will provide an extra set of eyes for greater coverage of dangers along the coast and a faster response to incidents at key blackspot locations.

Fitted with alerting devices and the ability to drop an inflatable rescue pod to distressed swimmers, the drones will become a vital part of the arsenal of surf lifesavers this season.

The program will be funded through the $16 million NSW Government Shark Management Strategy after a successful trial last summer on the north coast. Not only will it be used for shark spotting, but new alert devices fitted to the UAVs can be used to help evacuate swimmers from the water if required. Additionally, the technological advancements in the cameras and vision resolution will assist with shark species identification and research into the behaviour of marine life.

UAV Locations

Region One

  • Kingscliff
  • Main Beach Byron Bay
  • The Pass
  • Suffolk Park
  • Lennox Head
  • Sharpes Beach
  • Lighthouse/Shelley Beach Ballina
  • Evans Head

Region Two

  • Yamba
  • Coffs Coast

Region Three

  • Tacking Point

Region Four

  • Birubi


  • Redhead
  • Avoca

Region Five

  • Kiama
  • Mollymook

Region Six

  • Pambula
  • Tathra

Becoming a UAV Pilot

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from Surf Life Saving members to fly UAVs across 18 beach locations each weekend between November and April. Please contact for more information.


Available Documents

Enquire about the UAV project

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