Shark Shield deterrent donated to attack rescuer
NEW shark deterrent technology has helped an avid North Coast surfer return to the ocean after a traumatic rescue in 2015.
Darren Rogers recently received a shark deterrent device for his surf board from start-up company Shark Shield that he said "helped [him] greatly to get back in the water".
"I thought that was an extraordinary gesture of kindness," he said.
Mr Rogers said while there was "no 100% guarantee" of avoiding a shark encounter with Shark Shield, "the device is very powerful".
"The first model was an eight foot long lead that trailed behind the board," he said.
"It offered great protection but some slight issues - only slight - affecting performance.
"The second model has been incorporated into the deck grip design and the electrodes are two stickers on the bottom of the board.
"It doesn't affect the performance in any way and I can't wait try it out," he said.
Mr Rogers said he has recommended Shark Shield to many of his surfing friends already and thinks "there will be a rise" in users of the technology on North Coast beaches.
Ballina Mayor David Wright, who originally offered to buy the device for Mr Rodgers until Shark Shield made the donation, said another councillor was asking the NSW state government to contribute 50 per cent of funds towards a pilot program for greater use of the technology.
The devices currently cost about $600, he said and were already in use by navy divers for both the United States and Australia.