Video: Drone rescues 2 swimmers in Australia during training session
Lifeguards were practicing with the new drone when they were alerted that two men were caught in 10-foot swells
By EMS1 Staff
SYDNEY — Lifeguards rescued two men who were caught in turbulent swells at the beach with a new drone they were testing at the time.
NY Times reported that Surf Life Saving New South Wales supervisor Jai Sheridan was operating a “Little Ripper” drone while the crew was practicing for a new shark-spotting program when he was alerted that two men were trapped in 10-foot swells.
Sheridan steered the drone toward the men and released an inflatable “rescue pod” for them to grab. The men were then able to make their way to shore unharmed.
Sheridan said the rescue took around 70 seconds.
“On a normal day that would have taken our lifeguards a few minutes longer,” he said.
“The applications in the water are just phenomenal,” University of Technology Sydney professor Michael Blumenstein, who helped develop the drone software, said. “The amount of payload that these drones carry enable them to be really be versatile. There’s no reason why we couldn’t use it to automatically detect people in the water."
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