Lifesavers with an eye on technology

Courier Mail

May 7, 2021

Greg Stolz

A MERGER between two of marine rescue’s biggest organisations is set to revolutionise the way lives are saved in Gold Coast waters.

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) and rescue company The Ripper Group announced in May they’ll be joining forces.

Rebranded as Ripper Corporation, the world market leader in drone research and rescue deployment has teamed up with SLSQ with the aim to integrate state-of-the-art drone and hi-tech AI applications into existing surf lifesaving operations and wider disaster responses.

Ripper Corp’s board will be chaired by SLSQ director Grant Dearlove who said drones are a phenomenal way of achieving the organisation’s mission to save lives.

“It made sense that rather than continue to contract with The Ripper Group as a provider that we invest in the business,” he said.

“They’re the right fit culturally to help us drive changes that will ultimately modernise and transform the organisation.”

Surf Life Saving Queensland already use Little Ripper drones in their partnership with the Queensland Government SharkSmart drone trial.

Since September 2020, pilots have been flying shark-spotting drones across Main Beach and Burleigh Beach.

The Ripper Group founder Kevin Weldon, who’ll be a director of Ripper Corp, said drones are the most exciting marine rescue innovation he’s seen.

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