Drone saves two teenagers from drowning. Not by plucking them out of the sea and flying them back to shore after they got into difficulties off the coast of Lennox head in the Australian state of New South Wales. Perhaps that type of rescue is still a few more years away. Instead the drone performed its heroics by dropping an inflatable rescue pod into the sea which the two swimmers were then able to clamber into before making their way back to terra firma. The pair, aged between 15 and 17, had been struggling in heavy surf about 700m away from the shore when a member of the public alerted the lifeguards. Luckily for the teenagers, the lifeguards just happened to be learning how to use their new piece of kit for situations just like the one they were suddenly confronted with. Thanks to the drone, it took just a couple of minutes to reach the swimmers, a third of the time it would normally have taken lifeguards. Lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan, who was piloting the drone at the time when the alarm was raised, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “The Little Ripper UAV certainly proved itself today, it is an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment and a delight to fly”. He described the experience as “unreal”. Now that’s what you call on the job training.
February 8, 2018