UAV Flying in the Hunter Branch

Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or ‘Drones’ are a new technology that provide greater coverage and surveillance of potential risks along our coastline. UAVs are used for a range of different public safety uses across the Hunter coastline.

UAV operators are an integral part of the Patrol team on the beach and Surf Lifesaving – some of the tasks associated with this role are to provide surveillance for:

  • The patrol area
  • Junior activities (Nippers)
  • Club training
  • Special event such as ocean swims and triathlons
  • Local community activities like surfing comps
  • Major events like Branch carnivals
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Land searches at the request of Police
  • Marine fauna surveys

Who can fly drones for surf lifesaving?

Anyone who wishes to fly a drone for SLSNSW is required to undertake an Operator Induction Program (OIP). This program consists of an online course including operationally specific information including identification of marine life and other hazards such as rips currents as well as a full day of practical flight training with an instructor.

You will need to obtain an Aviation Reference Number (ANR) and a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Operator Accreditation from CASA. You will be guided through these processes upon successful application and placement. Upon Completion of the training, you will be qualified for the UAV Operator role.

This program provides an alternate pathway for bringing people into surf lifesaving, which does not include obtaining a Bronze Medallion.

Where can I fly?

There are UAVs located at Nobbys SLSC, Redhead SLSC and Catherine Hill Bay SLSC. These UAVs are available for flying on patrol, to qualified patrolling members.  Volunteer flying on patrol can occur during non-school holiday periods. During spring, summer and autumn school holidays the UAVs are used by paid pilots and are not available to patrols.

More information

For information on how to get involved in the Volunteer UAV program in the Hunter, contact the Branch UAV Co-Ordinator in the form below.

For information on applying for paid UAV employment

Further information on UAV’s

Upcoming UAV Operator Induction Program courses

The next course will be advertised soon.

The Team: