Unmanned aircraft can drop floating rescue equipment at sea

After surfing off the coast of New South Wales, two survivors swam to shore safely when a local lifeguard used a drone to give them a floating rescue device on the sea.

Rescue workers in Australia’s New South Wales state have tested a new rescue plane called the Westpac Little Ripper. The aircraft is equipped with a camera and pattern recognition software, which could one day detect sharks and warn swimmers at sea more easily. And these features are under development.

In the meantime, local rescuers have been trained to use drones to test coastline surveillance and to release emergency equipment such as inflatable and horn devices. Using cameras connected from flying equipment, rescue supervisor Jai Sheridan could identify swimmers, then use drones to drop them a floating device.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I was able to launch it, fly to the location, and drop all the rescue equipment in about one to two minutes. On a normal day, our rescue workers have being able to reach the victim takes more several minutes ”.

With the device floating in their hands after release, both of them were able to find their way back to the shore. This incredible rescue has opened up a new field where drone technology can be useful, helping in emergencies, whether in an earthquake, storm, or anywhere with people needing emergency help.



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