First northern NSW nipper carnival watched over by shark drones

Little Ripper photos from the Cudgen Classic. Picture: Ben Trollope/The Little Ripper.

Little Ripper photos from the Cudgen Classic. Picture: Ben Trollope/The Little Ripper.

Nicholas McElroy,

NERVOUS northern NSW parents and surf lifesaving clubs are turning to Gold Coast’s “little ripper” drone to keep a watch out for sharks during their surf carnivals.

The Cudgen Classic at the weekend became to first non-trial event watched over by the Little Ripper Group, according to chief operations officer Ben Trollope. The nine-hour junior surf lifesaving event at Kingscliff was patrolled by a dozen drone flights on Saturday along with water patrols.

In northern NSW, where there are no netted beaches, there have been a dozen attacks­ in about two years including­ the fatal attack on surfer Tadashi Nakahara in February 2015.

The drones developed on the back of the spate of attacks stream real-time vision back to operators keeping an eye out for dangerous sharks.

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