Halifax technology has Sharks texting Lifeguards

Today the Canwest News Service reports that Halifax-based VEMCO is saving lives on Australian beaches. The acoustics equipment manufacturer is tagging great white sharks with transmitters that send text messages to lifeguards when they prowl waters too close to swimmers.

The warning system is being tested this month by Australia’s main scientific research agency in a trial designed to reduce the human toll from shark attacks.

Twenty of the company’s latest VR4-Global receivers have been deployed along Australia’s southwest coast near Perth, and can relay signals to public safety officials from more than 100 great white sharks that have been tagged with VEMCO transmitters.

While the shark-alert network is still in the preliminary testing stage, text message warnings have typically arrived within two minutes or less from the time the shark detection is recorded.