Beaches are an iconic part of Australian culture with thousands of people flocking to our shorelines year-round. Unfortunately, our beaches can also be dangerous. In the 12 months from 1 July to 30 June 2021, a total of 88 lives were lost on the NSW coastline. Currently, each Council is individually responsible for designing, implementing and managing its lifeguard services and reporting system. Furthermore, traditional data collection techniques such as crowd counting, activity reporting and condition assessments are time consuming and imprecise when performed manually by lifeguards.
The Smart Beaches project will deliver a standardised and automated reporting tool available to all lifeguard services. Cameras using image analytics will offer automated crowd counting at patrolled and un-patrolled beaches. GPS trackers will provide automated beach status and rescue notifications; and the Manly Hydraulic Lab Nearshore Wave Tool will improve localised beach condition assessments.