Surf Life Saving NSW is offering the public the opportunity to undertake free drone pilot training.
Designed as a new way for people to get involved in surf life saving, participants will undergo a comprehensive two-day training program before putting their newly-acquired skills to use patrolling their local coastline.
With Forster being added to the UAV drone surveillance program established by SLSNSW and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in 2017, training will be offered here on the weekend of October 26 and 27.
Successful applicants will cover a range of content over the two days, including a full day of practical flight training with an instructor and specific operational information such as identifying marine life, rips and other hazards.
SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce said the organisation was expecting substantial interest in the program.
"Our two-day UAV training program is first-class," he said.
"It's a new pathway into surf life saving for people who would like to volunteer as 'dry lifesavers' and help keep the community safe on our beaches and coastline.
"In addition to volunteer work, the program also provides the potential for paid UAV pilot work with Surf Life Saving NSW during school holiday periods."
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Once the training has been completed, participants will be required to join their local surf club and volunteer to pilot SLSNSW's drones once or twice a month.
Those who already possess a Remote Pilot's Licence or other aviation qualifications may be granted recognition of prior learning and only have to complete the operationally-specific aspects of the course.
SLSNSW currently runs two drone surveillance programs:
- The $16 million NSW Government Shark Management Strategy that has been carried out over the last four years. This program provides greater patrol surveillance at 18 identified locations and assists with shark species identification and research into the behaviour of marine life
- Westpac funds Australia's first comprehensive national approach to surf rescue using innovative drone technology, giving surf life savers more eyes in the sky at patrolled beaches around the country.
For more information on the free training program, including online registration, click here.
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