After the United States and Australia, South Africa has the third highest recorded shark attacks in the world. It is a fact that does not go down well with its positioning as a hotspot for tourists looking for a beautiful beach experience.
The South African summer, which lasts from October to February, usually sees thousands of people flocking to SA’s beaches, but the South African summer is also the time of the year when shark attacks become more rampant. The International Shark Attack File shows that South Africa has recorded 393 shark attacks since the year 1900.
For this reason, beachgoers are often on edge even as they enjoy the scenery and serenity of the beaches. A local company collaborating with a non-profit organization may have created a solution to the scary, looming possibility of shark attacks.
South African company weFix, which currently offers cell phone repair services and non-profit organization Shark Spotters, have created a partnership which will involve using drones to spot sharks more effectively
Their plan is the introduction of drone unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) shark spotters. WeFix will provide shark-spotting teams with drone equipment, training, licensing and insurance, which will be used to survey beaches.
The CEO of weFix, Alex Fourie, says the pilot program helped to validate potential sharks sightings. According to him, “What previously would have been declared a great white shark in Fish Hoek, actually turned out to be a copper shark, which is not dangerous.”
Basically, weFix will provide drones which will be sent in as a responsive measure when something suspicious is seen from the land with binoculars. The drones are meant to confirm if the sighting was a false alarm or the exact species of shark.