Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Drones to help with rock fishers safety mission

Drones to help with rock fishers safety mission

Many rock-fishing hotspots are hard to reach, and rock fishers often slip under the radar while they’re out casting their lines. To increase safety and visibility for rock fishers on the west coast, Auckland’s rock fishing safety task force is trialling the use of drones to help Rock Fishing Safety Advisor, Sam “Rockman” Turbott, deliver safety messages to people in remote fishing spots.

Both Sam and his jet-ski driver Willy Goer cruise the coastlines to survey fishers, gather data on fisher activity, and pass on valuable rock-fishing safety advice as part of a joint campaign aimed at reducing fatalities among the fisher population on Auckland’s unpredictable west coast. But because jet-skis aren’t suitable to operate in all conditions, a drone with an infra-red camera is being tested at Bethells Beach on Thursday 29 March at 3pm to help get the job done.

The drone camera will allow the operator to see “hot spots” - people - in variable light conditions from a safe flying height. Once the rock fishers are located, Sam can then decide the fastest and safest way to approach them depending on their location. Sam hopes the drone will be more effective at spotting fishermen who are in hard-to-reach places, as some are often perched on rocky outcrops and ledges.

“It’d be great to have a better idea of the rock fishers’ whereabouts before clambering out to give them safety advice,” he says.

“Being able to see where the fishers are, before I spend time getting out to where I think they are, saves me time, but it also makes it safer because I’m not putting myself at risk only to find no-one is there.”

Sam is working with the Auckland rock fishing safety task force – a partnership between Drowning Prevention Auckland, Surf Life Saving Northern Region and Auckland Council - to raise awareness about the risks involved with fishing off the rocks.

One of the key messages is to always wear a life jacket regardless of the conditions, and Surf Life Saving Northern Region Operations Manager, Adam Wooler, says that it only takes one rogue wave to dislodge a person.

“Wearing a lifejacket may mean the difference between life and death, and every incident on the rocks doesn’t just put the person in the water at risk – it also poses a risk to others trying to assist them, including our lifeguards,” he says.

While the project is aimed at rock fishers mostly, Drowning Prevention Chief Executive Davin Bray says that they also appeal to families of the (mainly) men who fish off the rocks. “We want you to urge your fathers, husbands and sons to act responsibly, especially around wearing a lifejacket so they get home safely at the end of the day,” he says.

The joint campaign has made a significant impact on reducing the number of drownings and influencing behaviour change but Auckland Council’s Parks, Sports & Recreation General Manager Mace Ward says there’s more work to do as some fishers continue to place themselves at risk by choosing not to wear a lifejacket. “The west coast is a dynamic environment that requires respect in order to stay safe,” he says.

The Drone is currently being evaluated by Surf Life Saving Northern Region and X-Craft, a local UAV specialist company and leader in this new technology.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Lest We Forget: ANZAC Day - WWI 100 Year Anniversary

The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO, will represent the people of New Zealand at the 2018 Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli. On Anzac Day, Dame Patsy will speak at the Joint New Zealand and Australian Dawn Service in Anzac Cove, and at the New Zealand Commemorative Service at Chunuk Bair later that morning... More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages