1st ever ocean surf rescue from a drone

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Watch this. A drone detects swimmers in trouble and its operator drops them a flotation device.

According to news.com.au two boys, aged 16 and 17, got into trouble in the surf at the same time that lifeguards were having a training session to familiarise themselves with the equipped drones.

The lifeguards decided to test the drone and deployed one, called “Little Ripper,” to help rescue the boys who were having problems in heavy surf at Lennox Head on the New South Wales north coast in Australia. The drone dropped a bright yellow, long flotation device to the swimmers in trouble, who were then able to make it back to shore.

The drone streams video in real time and has GPS coordinates. It is also being used to watch for sharks and alert lifeguards to their presence in shallow waters. It is operated by two people.

Hover Endurance: Max 45 min
Cruise Endurance: Max 1 hour
Data Link: 5 miles and 50 Mbps
Ceiling: 400 ft
Wind Tolerance: 66 kbps
Weight: 25 kg
Height:58 mm
Rotor Diameter: 2, 280 mm

Image: littleripper.com