Shark watch gyro takes to the sky

Aviation company East Coast Autogyro has begun patrolling beaches for sharks.
Aviation company East Coast Autogyro has begun patrolling beaches for sharks. Coffs Coast Advocate

IF YOU'RE in the surf on the Coffs Coast and happen to see a gyrocopter frantically circling in the sky above, it's a good idea to get out of the water.

Aviation company East Coast Autogyro has started a shark watch, patrolling beaches from Coffs Harbour to Tweed Heads.

The aim of the patrol is to provide aerial support to North Coast surf clubs and emergency services, identifying sharks, rips, dangerous surf conditions and even bushfires.

The shark watch campaign is completely self-funded by the company, but marketing director Craig Crooks says it's hoped sponsors will come on board and keep a watchful eye in the sky.

“Up until now it has been too costly to run a shark watch, but now with these aircraft, the gyrocopters, we have a lot more opportunity,” Craig said.

“Our overall goal is to keep the beaches safe, shark-free and create awareness of how effective these gyros actually are,” he said.

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