A growing number of lifeguard organizations all over the world are turning to drones to help improve and speed up their rescue efforts when swimmers and surfers get into trouble. Germany, Australia, and Iran are three good examples of countries that are currently using rescue drones to aide in their rescue operations. The drones are proving to be useful in helping those caught up in riptides or currents.
Drones are much faster than rescue boats and can be up and running with flotation devices as soon as an emergency is reported. This helps lifeguards get the flotation devices to struggling swimmers much faster than in the past when a boat or jet ski had to be used. The drones also carry high quality cameras that help the lifeguards survey the area so that they can relay important information to the lifeguards on the way to help. Using the footage, the lifeguards can pinpoint exactly where the struggling swimmers are and come up with an effective plan to quickly rescue them.
The latest demonstration of the efficiency of drones in ocean rescues came recently in the sea off the Spanish town Sagunto. When a lifeguard spotted swimmers caught in an undertow about 70 meters from the shore, they quickly deployed the Auxdron Lifeguard Drone to help out. The drone pilot, Diego Torres flew the drone towards the distressed swimmers under the guidance of a lifeguard standing in the observation tower.
A quick analysis via the live stream revealed that one of the swimmers was having difficulties in the water, and the other swimmers were trying their best to support her. Torres immediately released one of the two life vests being carried by the drone, lowering it on a tether to the swimmers. The vest is programmed to automatically disconnect from the tether and inflate as soon as it touches the water.
A short while after the swimmer put on the vest, lifeguards arrived on a jet ski to carry the swimmer safely back to shore. As the rescue efforts continue, the drone stays hovering in the air until all the swimmers are rescued. The Auxdron Lifeguard Drone was built by a Spanish startup known as GeneralDrones and is already saving lives. The drone has the ability to deliver a life saving flotation device in just 70 seconds, a few minutes before a lifeguard can safely arrive. This can be the difference between life and death.