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Shark alerts added to app to keep Kiwis safe at the beach

In an innovative move, the workplace safety app is about to add a feature that helps keep New Zealanders safer while they’re on holiday at the beach.

ThunderMaps’ Managing Director Clint Van Marrewijk says, “ will enable New Zealanders to report shark sightings and the locations of dangerous rip currents at our beaches. It’s important to ensure our users are protected at work and while on holiday at the beach too.” provides an easy way for organisations, primarily SMEs to improve their safety procedures and risk reporting following the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act earlier this year.

Clint Van Marrewijk says, “There are many software products that allow businesses to collect risk information into a database to comply with the legislation. While they ‘tick the boxes’, this information is poorly used, rarely shared and never enriched to make a real impact on employee safety. With, users know where and what a risk is, relatively to where they are at any time, which allows users to avoid or manage that risk and actually stay safe. This results in safer workplaces and employees.

“However, our goal is the build the largest database of dangerous locations in the world and make that information available using our mobile reporting software in the app. ensures users know when they were about to enter a danger zone. Adding the ability to share the location of sharks and rips, is a step towards keeping Kiwis safe at work and at play.”

An Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Australia’s Bond University, Dr Daryl McPhee, says the number of people being bitten in Australian waters is steadily increasing. Australia has the second highest incidence of unprovoked shark attacks, behind the United States, and has connected the alerting system into the Department of Fisheries, Western Australian data feed on shark sightings, as part of the State’s $30 million in shark mitigation strategies. No equivalent alerting function exists in New Zealand, yet.

Warmer waters and an increase in shark’s food sources has increased the number of sharks in Australian waters, and anecdotally in New Zealand. While shark attacks attract wide attention, we are more likely to be injured by fireworks than we are by sharks, according to Dr McPhee.

Clint Van Marrewijk says, “Rip currents are a much greater risk in New Zealand, they can sweep you out to sea quickly and easily. Knowing where they are located means you are better able to keep yourself safe, or others, from danger. Surf Life Saving New Zealand patrol over 80 of our busiest beaches each summer. Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, as they identify the safest area to swim when an active lifesaving patrol is on the beach.”

The app is available free now, download it at:

“The shark and rip alert features are being added now and will be functional on December the 1st for the start of the holiday season. This will enable you to record the location of sharks and rip currents, share this information with nearby people, while you’re on at the beach and do your bit to help make our beaches safer places.”


About ThunderMaps
Established in 2012, ThunderMaps is a leading provider of off the shelf mobile reporting software.
It makes applications targeted towards improving health and safety in organisations, and communication tools for governments and organisations.
ThunderMaps services tens of thousands of users in 11 countries, and has offices in New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom, contracts with governments, cities and large businesses.
For more information, see:



Shark alerts added to app to keep Kiwis safe at the beach

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