Drone rescues two swimmers in Australia

Drone rescues two swimmers in Australia

A dramatic rescue off the Australian coast makes world history as a drone saves two swimmers in just 70 seconds.

The rescue took place as life savers at Lennox Head, a beach popular with surfers south of the city of Brisbane, were preparing for a training session on using drones to pull swimmers to safety.

Extra weight will have been added to that belief after the successful real-life proof of concept.

Lifeguards launched the drone, steered it toward the swimmers and dropped a "rescue pod" into the water, where it expanded so the swimmers could grab it and swim to shore.

Beachgoers spotted the teens struggling in the waves nearly a half mile (700 meters) away from the shore at Lennox Head, New South Wales.

"The Little Ripper UAV certainly proved itself today, it is an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment and a delight to fly", Lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan said.

The New South Wales government only announced their $340,000 (£247,000) investment in drone rescuers back in December. "Never before has a drone, fitted with a flotation device, been used to rescue swimmers like this".

Local authorities have been eager to explore the additional options provided by the fast-developing technological advances being made and see drones as being perfectly matched to their future vision for life-saving in Australia.

As you'd expect, the drones can beam back live video to a two-person control team, and judging from the on-board video of the drone's most recent rescue, the quality is on par with most prosumer drones, at least 1080p.

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