Meet Kiama’s shark blimp

Some of you may have seen this blimp hovering over Surf Beach recently, and wondered what was going on.

Project Airship is the brainchild of marine scientist and PhD candidate Kye Adams. For six weeks from the end of December, the camera on the blimp will be giving a live feed of what it spots to lifeguards below.

The trial will test how effective a tool it is for lifeguards to identify sharks in the area.

Dubbed Project Airship, for Aerial Inflatable Remote Shark Human Interaction Prevention, the trial will be undertaken in specific weather conditions to eliminate variables from the effectiveness thresholds.

Kye has been a professional lifeguard in Kiama for five years, having lived here all his life. His research is being funded by the Department of Primary Industries and Kiama Council.

In the absence of a regular supply of the real thing, decoy sharks will be deployed at times to test the whether the lifeguards can spot them.

“We will score whether they can see them, and develop a threshold of how effective the observations are.”




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