Drone used to spot sharks in Seal Beach

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Lifeguards are using a $1,400 drone to patrol the waters off Seal Beach and keep beachgoers away from sharks.

It used to take lifeguards up to two hours to go on a jet ski and try to confirm shark sightings, but now it can be done in a matter of minutes with the "eye in the sky."

"We launched the drone and in about five minutes, we'd spotted five or six sharks so we went down and zoomed in and filmed them and then we cruised the whole area, and I think we probably saw about 10 sharks in total this morning," said Seal Beach Marine Safety Chief Joe Bailey.

If the shark is big enough to pose a danger, warnings can be issued in a timely manner or the beach can be closed. Bailey says he expects other lifeguard agencies to invest in drones as well, giving more lifeguards a bird's-eye view of a shark encounter.

Watch Rob Hayes' report in the video above.
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