The shark-watch gyrocopter.
The shark-watch gyrocopter.

Eye in sky can spot the sharks

IT appears sharks have kept clear of Clarence Valley beaches this summer, with no sightings reported.

During the summer holidays, surfers are being protected from above.

A shark-watch gyrocopter is sweeping beaches regularly to keep swimmers safe and surf clubs up-to-date.

Gyrocopter pilot Peter Coulter said there were many sharks in waters off Byron Bay, but none had been spotted in the Clarence surfing areas.

“As far as incidents or sharks go, the beaches have been clear so far,” he said.

Launched in October, the shark watch and coastal patrol initiative provides aerial support to surf clubs and other emergency services. It assists in identifying sharks, rips and dangerous surf conditions along the busy stretch of coastline.

Mr Coulter said he had seen spectacular things from the air, including pods of dolphins, plenty of rays and sea turtles.

“The aerial trip is quite beautiful and Yamba Headlands is a magnificent sight,” he said.

“The varying water conditions are always interesting and every trip up is always different.”

With the weather expected to clear early next week, Clarence surf clubs are reminding beach-goers to embrace basic beach safety.

President of Red Rock-Corindi Surf Life Saving Club, Mark Aspinall, said people swimming at the beach should always stay between the flags.

“Parents should make sure that children are always under supervision, and if swimmers are in doubt of the conditions, they should talk to a lifeguard on duty,” he said.

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