LONG BRANCH: The city is looking into the possibility of purchasing drones to help aid in beach and swimmer safety during the summer months.
Long Branch Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Stanley Dziuba said only California and Costa Rica actually use drones for their beaches so it is not something the city would be doing any time soon.
However, Long Branch Beach Manager Dan George did go over some the capabilities of the drones during the June 23 Long Branch Council meeting.
George said they would predominantly be used on unguarded or off-hour beaches and during days when the ocean conditions are too rough for a lifeguard to swim out to perform a rescue.
The drones are controlled remotely and be outfitted with a camera, microphone, speaker or even a lifesaving device to aid in the rescue of a distressed swimmer, boater or kayaker who is several miles off the shoreline.
The drones can also be used for shark sighting along the coast, but George said lifesaving would be their primary function.
"This is a lifeguard's tool, something to move a rescue along a lot faster," Councilman Michael Sirianni said. "Anything we can do to protect and give a better service to our guests on the beachfront would be a plus."
Dziuba said the drones can be as cheap as $1,300 or as expensive as $7,500, depending on the additional equipment that is mounted on them.
"It's something to look into and keep in mind and maybe we can address again toward the winter time," Dziuba said.