Australian Rescue Drone Cuts Training Short, Goes into Action

Terry Joseph
January 20, 2018

The pod inflates, the swimmers grab onto it, and the drone guides them back to shore. Other than ocean rescue missions, Australia is also testing the capabilities of drones to detect sharks, jellyfish and, other marine predators using artificial intelligence algorithms based on photo images.

The boys, aged between 15 and 17, got into difficulties while swimming off the coast of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia, the BBC has reported.

Two teenage boys were seen in distress about a kilometre north of the patrol area.

At around 11.30am a member of the public noticed the pair were in trouble in the three metre swell and called lifeguards. Within minutes, lifeguards activated a drone that had an inflatable raft attached to it.

The two clung to the rescue pod and made it to shore, where lifeguards were waiting, Surf Life Saving NSW said.

They were unharmed, aside from some fatigue.

"The NSW Government has provided $430,000 in funding to Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) for this project this summer".

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This rescue comes not long after the NSW government chose to invest roughly $430,000 AUD in this sort of drone technology as part of an ongoing North Coast trial.

"This is a world first rescue", Barilaro claimed, the Northern Star reports. In a fortunate coincidence, lifeguards at the the beach were just then preparing for a training mission in the use of drones for rescuing stranded swimmers.

Lifeguard Jai Sheridan piloted the drone to them, which deployed a floatation device.

"This was an extraordinary rescue with the very best possible outcome", Blair said.

Mr Sheridan said the difference in response time was critical.

A recent event, where two teen boys were saved from drowning, by a drone fitted with an inflatable device is doing the rounds on headline space.

The Surf Lifesaving website called it a "world first".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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