Yamba man patrols coast from above

SWIMMERS on Clarence Valley beaches can hit the water feeling a little easier these Christmas holidays, knowing a guardian angel is watching from thousands of feet above.

That guardian angel is Yamba’s Peter Coulter, whose not-for-profit organisation Coast Watch Clarence will see him patrol the coastline between Woody Head and Wooli from December 18 until January 30 in a tiny AutoGyro MTO Sport Aircraft.

“I’m just up there to basically be an observer of the coastline,” Mr Coulter said.

“If there’s something I can be of assistance with to the likes of the surf life saving clubs or anyone else – whether it’s the sighting of sharks or whether it’s swimmers in rips – I’ll report it in.”

Mr Coulter will make the run once a day Monday to Friday, then twice on Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting.

The aircraft he uses is a two-seater, open-cockpit gyrocopter, which is capable of zero airspeed right through to a maximum of about 100 knots (185km/h).

The operation is funded with sponsorship from Mr Coulter’s business, Carpet Court, along with radio station FM 104.7 and the Clarence Valley Review, however, he is also hoping to attract additional funding by inviting members of the public to come along on his patrols.

“They can get an introduction to the control of the aircraft and see how it flies and at the same time look at the view,” he said.

Anyone interested in joining Mr Coulter for a unique experience can contact him on 0408 662 285.

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