One week ago on the far-north coast of NSW off the beaches of Ballina a 17-year-old boy was attacked by a shark, a day later almost all the resources of the latest NSW Surf Life Saving and Department of Primary Industries shark management strategies were deployed in Ballina – including Drones.
On Tuesday, the day following the attack on young Cooper Allen the shark-spotting drones known as “Little Rippers” were on site at the beach up in the air patrolling for drones.
The Little Ripper is a large drone, much larger than the small hobbyist drones we are all familiar with. More like a mini helicopter the Little Ripper has long-range and flight time and advanced video allowing precise shark spotting capabilities along our coastline.
However, EFTM understands that on Tuesday last week one “Little Ripper” veered off-course and headed west of the beach away from the intended patrol.
Looking at the branding on the Little Ripper EFTM contacted Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter service, who despite the similarity in branding and naming told us they had nothing to do with the drone trials, and to contact NSW Surf Lifesaving.