12 Jan Drones, helicopters find sharks off Hawks Nest, Stockton and Redhead | photos
Drones and Shark Detection
HARMLESS: A smooth hammerhead shark found by an aerial drone off Redhead beach on Thursday.
TWO great white sharks and a hammerhead have been seen off Hunter beaches in the space of 24 hours, as a network of drones and helicopters continues to watch the coast.
A Department of Primary Industries spokesman said the hammerhead’s presence close to the shore didn’t warrant the closure of the beach.
At about 12pm on Wednesday, a helicopter crew’s report of a 2.8-metre white shark south of Hawks Nest surf club prompted life savers to shut Bennetts beach.
The helicopter crew had earlier found a smaller white shark off the beach, which is part of a corridor heavily populated by sharks.
A helicopter crew also found a 2.7-metre white shark off the Tin City settlement on Stockton beach around 12pm Wednesday, but there were no swimmers nearby.
The NSW government has contracted private operators to fly shark-detection drones, complemented by helicopter patrols, over Redhead for four hours every morning until January 29.