Rescue Drone Successfully Drops Flotation Device To Two Stranded Swimmers

Lifesavers used a drone to help rescue two people in heavy surf at Lennox Head on the New South Wales north coast, in a trial funded by the NSW Government. The drone dropped a flotation device to the swimmers in trouble, who were then able to make it back to shore. This could be a revolutionary new idea that could be invaluable for rescue operations throughout the world since it seems to work. In a trial run though there are a few things that don’t seem to be taken into consideration. Still, the idea has merit and should probably be given a fair chance all the same.

The one scary thing about any ocean is the undertow and the current that will drag you under, out, and eventually strand you in the middle of the ocean if you’re not careful about it. Having a healthy respect for the sea and all it can do is wise, but being cautious when standing in it is even better. It doesn’t matter how strong you are or how great a swimmer you are, if that ocean wants you it’s going to have you unless you’re paying attention. There are moments when being careful isn’t enough though, as depending on the location you’re in there could be dropoffs that you didn’t count on, terrain that is less than stable, and even stronger currents than you’re used to.

The idea of having a rescue drone on hand is great for heavily populated beaches since it can come in quite handy it looks like and can be of assistance in times of great need. I don’t believe it will ever replace a lifeguard however, or common sense, considering that there are times when those in need are either unconscious or simply unable to make their way into shore even with the aid of a flotation device. It’s definitely a work in progress that needs a few more tweaks but it’s a great idea that should be looked at further and given some serious consideration for implementation. Of course each drone would have to be outfitted for each region in which it operates since not all beaches are the same and inclement weather could be a problem for a drone if it’s not prepared. During the summer months one might think that a drone would be great for any beach but the fact remains that it could be more effective in one location than it would for another.

Then there’s the idea of just where they would be deployed.  Some beaches don’t employ lifeguards, in fact some beaches are barely visited by a hundred people a day and therefore don’t even warrant lifeguards or any attention other than the effort it takes to put up signs. And yet some of those places have the worst undertow in the world and the swiftest currents that maybe it would be worth it to put a system like this into place. I wouldn’t hold my breath to be honest but it might be a good idea.

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