FUTURISTIC technology normally used for military operations could soon be monitoring bathers and sharks off Australian beaches. The project will test the effectiveness of unmanned flying drones as a surf lifesaving tool. A three-month trial on Queensland’s North Stradbroke Island is expected to start in September, with lifesavers hopeful the drones will be rolled out nationally. “This robotic drone program is an exciting innovation,” Surf Life Saving Australia CEO Brett Williamson told AAP on Monday. “This technology can be applied to a range of … scientific areas such as monitoring erosion, bush fires and tracking shark movements, and allows us to spot a swimmer in trouble before something serious occurs. “There’s an old saying in surf life saving – ‘if we can’t see you, we can’t save you’,” Mr Williamson said.