Out at sea

Aerial shark patrols begin


Aerial shark patrols have begun early this year because of forecast high temperatures and the expected increase in beach visits.

From Sunday 1 December 2013 routine patrols by fixed-wing aircraft will provide regular coverage of the metropolitan coastline from North Haven to Rapid Bay between 11.00 am and 8.00 pm seven days a week, extending to the south-coast between Victor Harbor and Goolwa on weekends, public holidays and school holidays.

When a shark is seen near the shore or swimmers, the fixed wing aircraft will start a circular flying pattern and sound a siren to warn swimmers to leave the water as quickly as possible.

Swimmers are encouraged to take a number of other steps to ensure their safety in the water over summer, including:

- where possible, swim at a patrolled beach and between the flags

- never swim alone

- avoid swimming at dawn, dusk or night

- never swim in murky water or in the vicinity of the mouth of a river

- avoid swimming near fishing activity or schools of fish

- don’t swim while bleeding

As a matter of routine the patrols will notify SAPOL and, if the sighting poses a particular risk to public safety, they will manage the incident in conjunction with other emergency services.

In addition, funding has been allocated to Surf Life Saving SA who will continue to provide specific cover over community events utilising the helicopter they operate in conjunction with a commercial arrangement with Westpac.

The South Australian Government has provided $362,000 from the Community Emergency Services Fund towards this season’s patrols, which are provided by UniSA and Surf Life Saving SA and are programmed to run through until Sunday 30 March 2014.

Image: shark patrol

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