The Illawarra's first fully operational drone will take to the skies this weekend to patrol the region's coastline.
The drone will help lifesavers in detecting sharks and other marine life, as well as provide surveillance along local beaches to identify rip currents and swimmers in trouble.
The state-of-the-art technology will be utilised in the Illawarra on the busy Australia Day weekend, after 12 volunteer lifesavers completed their drone training this past weekend.
The drone will be based at Helensburgh Stanwell Park Surf Lifesaving Club for the remainder of the season.
Meantime, Surf Life Saving NSW has received a $16 million boost from the State Government to enhance capabilities in responding to emergencies in the Illawarra and across the state.
The funding will cover additional jet skis, new emergency response vehicles and additional emergency response beacons.