Emergency Drones Used In Water Rescue Operations

Drones are quickly becoming mainstream in both marine and offshore industries. Drones were initially used for filming aerial videos, but today, they are being used in new and exciting ways. DJI, a top drone manufacturer noted that they are moving into the field of onshore and offshore search and rescue operations. To show how common drones are becoming, just recently, 3 different emergency response agencies used drones on the same day to rescue people.

The first took place in Hill County, Texas. Emergency rescue agencies dropped life vests to a woman and her 15 year old daughter who had become stranded in a rapidly rising river. The mother and her child were unable to swim to safety. Their lives were saved by the quick thinking of rescue drone operators.

Another rescue took place in Devon and Cornwall, UK. On the cliffs at Exmouth in the UK, a man had become stuck on the edge of a steep cliff. The police used a drone outfitted with a thermal imaging camera to locate and rescue the man.  And finally on that same day in the state of Indiana, an emergency rescue team used a drone to drop a life vest to save the life of a suspected criminal. He was trying to evade the very police that ended up saving his life after he had become stuck in a pond.

Previously, in Australia, lifeguards carried out a drone assisted rescue which showed the huge potential of drone technology in water. Two teenagers that were swimming got caught in a current and the lifeguards used a drone to locate and assist them to safety. It only took a few minutes to locate the teens once the drone was launched. Upon finding the victims, an inflatable rescue pod was dropped from the drone to help them stay afloat.

Without drones, this type of rescue would have taken lifeguards much longer to get to where the teenagers were. But with the help of drones, it was completed within minutes, saving their lives. This proves how useful drones have become in today’s society.

One drone specially designed for search and rescue operations is the French-made drone known as the “Helper,” which is outfitted with high definition cameras. Currently, the oil company “Total”, is looking to see if the “Helper” drone would be beneficial for their offshore drilling operations.  It is clear that the use of drones can make a huge difference when it comes to saving lives both on and off the water.

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