Speaking to 10 play, Jason said he was at a point in life where he was trying to find his purpose. A builder by trade, he found his passion for his work waning and was hopeful he’d find a new project to invest his energy into.
“The idea went off like a lightbulb,” Jason said. “When it hit me, I basically went out and got it patented the next day. I didn’t even know what a drone could do.”
Featured in this week’s Bondi Rescue, Jason and his app have given many beachgoers a better look at what’s happening in the waters around them.
When he first started DroneShark, Jason would capture footage for surfers using his drones while also monitoring for sharks. Soon, he began to curate what he calls “the show”.
“Every morning I’m out there 20 minutes before sunrise,” he explained, “that’s when all the predators are out. I capture the sunrise and put up beach conditions for surfers, divers, and fishermen.
“The divers get to see what the water clarity is like, surfers get to see what the waves are like and fishermen get to see where the bait balls of fish are,” he added. “Then if I see anything — let’s say there’s a whale passing at Bondi — you’ll get an alert. You can see the notification, watch the whale on your phone but you’ll also actually see it if you’re at Bondi as well.”
Since starting the app, Jason’s incredible footage of sea life has garnered him a big following across Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok. His videos and photos give a view from above look at what’s going on under the surf.
In many cases, what Jason is able to see from his drones is even clearer than those swimming or surfing below. One of his videos that went viral showed a surfer completely unaware that he was hovering over a shark.
“It’s opened my eyes to how predators behave,” Jason said. Noting on his website that the app is not a safety surface, Jason will often communicate with lifeguards or — in some circumstances — hop on his megaphone to alert beachgoers to sharks in the area that may look more on the frisky side.
“The app has changed my perception [of sharks] massively from day one, when I saw my first shark and panicked. Now I’m a bit more relaxed,” he said. “As time went on I thought oh, they’re not really interested, they’re just hanging around the fish. So I always tell people to stay out of schools of fish.
“Knowing that they’re out there, co-existing with them… you don’t have to jump out of the water and sound the alarms every time you see a shark. It’s just knowledge,” Jason added.
His website also features messages of inspiration for those hoping to follow their dreams, much like Jason did when he first had the idea to launch DroneShark.
“I followed my heart, my passion, and I want to go to schools and show kids all the beautiful sea life. To tap into their minds while they’re young and say look, you can believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you can’t, because we all doubt ourselves.”
“Live your dreams, follow your passion. That’s what it’s really about. I just love it, I jump out of bed every day. I love it.”
Bondi Rescue airs Thursdays at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play or watch episodes on demand on 10 play