JUNO BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Palm Beach County officials gathered at Juno Beach on Wednesday to check out new technology aimed at keeping beach-goers safe.
From Boca Raton to Jupiter, there are nearly 30 beaches spanning 47 miles and about half of those beaches have lifeguards prepared to jump into action at any moment.
"We're very fortunate to have an award winning Ocean Rescue team. It’s not required that beaches be guarded, but we’ve guarded them since the 1970s," said Eric Call, the director of Parks and Recreation.
However when beaches get busy, it's impossible to keep an eye on everyone. That's why county officials say they can always find new ways to keep people safe.
"From a human standpoint, we think we’ve got the best lifeguards out there and if you can add a little technology to it, I think it makes it even better," Call said.
On Wednesday, officials met with the company "Dipsee" to consider adding its new cameras with AI technology to lifeguard towers.
"It’s a software system that you put inside of a camera just like this, that can actually scan open ocean, detect dangerous scenarios and alert lifesavers so it can prevent people from drowning in real time." said Matt Spritz, the Dipsee Government Relations Consultant.
The software allows programmers to flag dangerous spots in the water, like rip currents or areas too close to the pier, then detect if a person swims into it.
Once that happens, it sends a text message or another alert to lifeguards or fire rescue.
"So if someone was going into what was a predefined dangerous area over here, but the life saver was, you know, 500 feet down on the beach and can't see what's going on over here, the lifesaver would get an alert," Spritz said.
If the plan moves forward, Palm Beach County would be the first in the county to try the technology.
Each camera costs up to $20,000 a year.
Despite the price tag, it's something officials are considering if the company lowers its price.
"It’s all about saving lives," Call said.