Drones on patrol during summer

BIRD'S EYE: This photo of Middleton was taken by one of the observational drones used by Surf Life Saving SA.
BIRD'S EYE: This photo of Middleton was taken by one of the observational drones used by Surf Life Saving SA.

Observational drones have captured rescues, shark scares, and spectacular views along the South Australian coastline, including on the Fleurieu.

Over the summer, 200 hours' worth of aerial patrols have been undertaken from North Haven to Goolwa Beach through the state government-funded program run by Surf Life Saving SA (SLSSA).

There are seven qualified Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) pilots with SLSSA, along with eight unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators qualified for non-controlled airspace.

The use of drones even helped with two rescues in South Australian waters.

Drone pilot Kate Powell said the aerial element gave operators a different angle to potential dangers and hazards.

"The drones can monitor and predict unfolding incidents and provide a valuable tool in assisting SLSSA rescue personnel to the site," she said.

They have captured many of the region and state's iconic beaches in photos and videos, but have also showed how dangerous reefs and rips can be for those without a bird's eye view.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing Corey Wingard said as many flocked to beaches during warm weather, it was "reassuring to know there is an extra layer of help should trouble arise".