Aerial shark patrols on South Australia’s highest risk beaches will commence two weeks ahead of schedule following an attack at Port Noarlunga last week that left a 32-year-old woman with serious injuries.
The SA Government today announced a full complement of shark surveillance aircraft will return to the skies this Saturday, 18 November, to monitor beaches from North Haven to Rapid Bay, and between Victor Harbor and the Murray Mouth.
The fixed wing aircraft will fly daily until Easter over metropolitan areas, with flights to be extended to the south coast on weekends, school and public holidays, providing multiple flights over our highest populated and aquatic activity beaches.
“In the event of a sighting that may pose a risk to the public, the aircraft will fly continuous orbits over the area and sound the siren, at which time people should immediately leave the water,” said State Emergency Service Chief Officer, Chris Beattie.
The first week of December start date has historically aligned with increased beach activity with warmer weather arriving and school holidays commencing.
The State Government provides more than $460,000 each summer for the shark patrol program.
“We are taking quick and decisive action to deliver aerial shark patrols two weeks early, to ensure South Australians remain feeling at home on our beautiful beaches,” said Minister Joe Szakacs.
“I expect with a longer, hotter summer, South Australians will be flocking to beaches. They can do so knowing that our shark patrol planes will be in the air until Easter.”
The fixed wing aircraft has the words ‘SHARK PATROL’ in large lettering on the wing underside and is fitted with a siren to warn beachgoers.
The aerial patrols have operated in South Australia since 2003.