A Summer of Shark Patrol Via Drone for Senior Liam Godbout

  • East Islip High School senior Liam Godbout spent his summer as an Ocean Beach lifeguard, and had a chance to use the skills he had learned in his robotics and video production classes.

    During his first season on the job, Godbout had a lot to learn and get used to in this new environment. In addition to his regular lifeguarding duties, his assistant captain presented all of the lifeguards with an opportunity. Due to rising sea temperatures, new ocean life has been prevalent on the shores of Fire Island. This area of New York has seen an increase in fish, whales and sea turtles, as well as shark and stingray activity. In an effort to keep bathers safe in the summer, Fire Island lifeguards were required to perform morning shark and stingray patrols via drone so that swimmers could be warned in advance. Godbout received his official recreational certification to fly East Islip’s drones while in robotics class last year, and practiced his drone flying skills in both robotics and video production courses. Due to this, he was more than qualified for the Fire Island job and spent each and every morning this summer performing shark and stingray drone patrols while lifeguarding.

    “Having the prior experience with drones made it easier for me to run these patrols,” Godbout said. “It was my daily responsibility to let the lifeguards know if any sharks were inside of the sand bars found off of Ocean Beach. if they were, lifeguards would temporarily suspend all swimming activities."  

    “I love hearing about ways in which technology education students take what they have learned in class and apply it to real world applications,” technology teacher Jim Connell said. “Liam is an example of what all of our students are capable of doing when given the opportunity to learn about new and emerging technologies.”

    Date Added: 9/13/2023