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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Looking down from a helicopter onto a shark swimming along the beach
Surf Life Saving helicopter patrols will operate along Perth metropolitan and South West beaches from this weekend and throughout summer. Photo courtesy Surf Life Saving WA.
Friday 31 August 2018

State-funded lifesaving helicopter lifts off to enhance ocean safety

​State-funded Surf Life Saving WA helicopter patrols will begin again this weekend, as the weather warms and Western Australians start flocking to our beaches.

The patrols for the metropolitan area and South-West region will start three weeks earlier than in the past seasons.

Last season, the helicopter patrols provided 90 direct warnings to ocean users, patrolled WA beaches for 989 hours, covered more than 100,000 kilometres of coastline and spotted 522 sharks.

From 1 September, metropolitan services will begin patrols between Port Bouvard to Yanchep and out to Rottnest Island on weekends, before increasing to daily patrols from 1 October 2018 to 30 April 2019.

The South West service will operate between Bunbury and Margaret River on weekends from 1 September, then increasing to daily patrols from 19 November 2018 to 3 February 2019, before reverting back to weekend patrols. The September and April school holidays will also include daily services.

The patrols are one part of a comprehensive shark mitigation strategy which includes beach, helicopter and drone patrols; a personal shark deterrent device subsidy for divers and surfers; beach enclosures; an extended Shark Monitoring Network to Esperance; tagging operations; and a SMART drumline trial off Gracetown.

Formal consultation on the SMART drumline trial will begin on 13 September 2018, with the community asked to provide comments on the SMART drumlines as well as the deployment of Shark Monitoring Network receivers in the Capes region.

Last modified: 31/08/2018 12:15 PM

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