Stawell company a world leader in manufacturing buoys

Buoys cleverly designed and manufactured by Stawell company, Buoyage Systems Australia, are assisting with the detection of sharks along various coastlines throughout Australia.

The company has just delivered a quantity of the specially designed buoys to UVS Pty Ltd, a New South Wales company that has supplied quality subsea equipment and services since 1973.

Buoyage Systems Australia Director, Maggie Marriott said the business had been contracted by UVS to supply the buoys to certain specifications, having no idea what they would be used for.

"We didn't know what the actual project was, we were just asked to supply the buoys," she said.

"The company told us the buoys needed to be able to hold a certain weight in them, but they didn't tell us what for.

"Then we received a pleasant surprise when we saw the buoys featured on the morning Sunrise program and they were being placed into the surf. We learnt then that the buoys were being used for shark detection."

UVS is an electronics company and launched an initiative in partnership with Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS), Google and Optus, to place electronics or smart equipment inside the buoys that will allow them to detect sharks.

"A water proof tub is placed inside the buoy and then the equipment goes inside that," Mrs Marriott said.

"The idea is to create networks of buoys a few hundred metres from beaches, creating an unbroken detection perimeter."

The buoys, named Clever Buoys, are 25 kilogram floating domes housing microprocessors and satellite transmitters.

They are connected by cable to a sonar transducer, which sits on the seabed and sends shark-detecting soundwaves to a radius of between 25 and 60 metres.

The sonar transducers are programmed to detect moving objects at least two metres in length. However, the plan is to fine-tune them to detect sharks based on the way they move through the water.

Buoyage Systems Australia also designed a combination equipment platform and anchoring system for the Clever Buoy, which was a specialist design for this particular type of buoy.

Mrs Marriott said this was just one of many projects that Buoyage Systems Australia was involved in at present, confirming the business as a world leader in the manufacture of specially designed buoys.

The company, which is family owned but also has a loyal, long serving and highly skilled workforce, has also designed a new life saving buoy that it hopes will hit the market in the not too distant future.

The buoys could be placed opposite flags on a patrolled beach, improving safety for all water users.

"The buoys are designed so Lifeguards can easily put them in and out of the water and move them around easily," Mrs Marriott said.

"It will greatly improve safety, as a Lifeguard can gain easier and faster access to a life saving donut that is already in the water, or a strong swimmer can get to the buoy, remove the life saving device and save a person that might be in trouble."

Buoyage Systems Australia also has just delivered floating safety barriers to Chowilla on the Murray River in South Australia, to stop boats from going over the weir walls.

Then at the end of June, the company will supply a similar floating barrier to Goolwa, on the mouth of the Murray, for the same purpose.

On top of that, Buoyage Systems Australia has sold data buoys, similar to the Clever Buoys, to the Navy.

"This type of activity really is making us a world leader in the supply of this type of buoys," Mrs Marriott said.

"Our buoys, designed and manufactured right here in Stawell, are the only ones designed to cope with the vigours of the marine environment.

"We have the range of buoys and the knowledge to be the world's biggest buoy company."


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