Drones to the rescue – German lifeguards test quadcopters for rescuing swimmers

Drones to the rescue – German lifeguards test quadcopters for rescuing swimmers
Lifeguards in Germany are testing a drone for rescuing struggling swimmers. Once on the scene, the remotely controlled flying machine drops an auto-inflating float to keep the swimmer safe until human help arrives.

We already know how drones can deliver awesome video when the gear’s in the right hands, but a growing number of industries are also looking to utilize the technology to give them an edge in their own respective fields.

Thanks to a quadcopter’s ability to reach just about any location in super-quick time, search and rescue is also an area of increasing interest. The machines could come in useful for surveying a disaster scene before sending in rescue workers, or dropping supplies to those in need of urgent help.

Germany’s national lifeguard association, for one, has started testing drones for rescue scenarios, taking auto-inflating floats to swimmers in distress. Working with local drone firm Microdrones, the organization conducted trials over the summer, and recently posted a video (above) of its efforts on YouTube.

The sequence shows a swimmer struggling to keep his head above water. As a lifeguard begins to swim out to the scene, another on the shore flies a drone ahead. Once the drone reaches the panicking swimmer, the operator drops the float, enabling the swimmer to stay safe until human help arrives.

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