Shark fender hits the waves
By CHRISTIAN STANGER
PIGGABEEN'S Bill Morrison says a love for his sons drobe him to create a revolutionary device he claims will keep swimmers safe from shark attacks and marine creatures safe from shark nets.
Now keen surfers Will, 11, and nine-year-old Jake Morrison can surf wherever they want, without fear of sharks, as long as they have their father's Beach Barrier device attached to their boards or ankles.
Mr Morrison has been working with Seachange Technology and the Natal Shark Board in South Africa on the Beach Barrier, a device is similar to technology used to protect triathletes in Sydney Harbour during the 2000 Olympics.
The device, which can also operate from a buoy, sends out an electronic pulse which is designed to protect swimmers and surfers from the marine predators in a seven metre radius.
Only sharks can sense the pulse which means there is no chance of other marine life being affected.
With the help of State Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey, Mr Morrison is lobbying the Queensland Government to get behind his patented device and adopt it to replace shark nets which each year encounter problems with whales and other animals being entangled in them.
"You run the Beach Barrier out in a 'U'-shaped system behind the breakers and everyone can swim in that area. It's surrounded by buoys which send out the pulse so people will be protected from sharks," Mr Morrison said.
"I got into this because I have two young boys that surf, love the water and if a shark comes up beside them in the water and I'm not around, there's nothing I can do about it," Mr Morrison said.
"I love them more than anything I had to find them some sort of protection."
So far Mr Morrison's pleas to the Government have been ignored but he hopes with the backing of Ms Stuckey and the Queensland coalition government, he can get the device properly priced and a feasibility test completed.
"The coalition have now started putting some pressure on and asking for costings and whether the (Queensland) Government believes it could enhance the safety program," Ms Stuckey said.
"If it finds it will, you have a win win situation: it will protect marine life and you'll have less risk to surfers and swimmers of shark attacks," she said.