By Marco Margaritoff, thedrive.com
A group of seven swimmers was in trouble when an undertow whisked them off to sea. Fortunately, a lifeguard drone was deployed to the rescue.
When a group of seven swimmers found themselves carried off into the ocean by an undertow in Valencia, Spain Wednesday, time was of the essence. Though they successfully managed to alert the lifeguards, rapid response wasn’t guaranteed at 230 feet from the beach. Fortunately, an Auxdron Lifeguard Drone was at the scene and quickly flown to the rescue.
According to New Atlas, Diego Torres remotely piloted the eight-rotor General Drones vehicle. Guided by a lifeguard via radio and assisted by the drone’s camera feed, he managed to reach the swimmers in danger and drop a life jacket which automatically inflated upon deployment. The woman in most immediate need of assistance managed to untether it from the vehicle, and save herself from drowning.
Let’s take a closer look at this harrowing turn of events, through the drone’s own camera feed.
General Drones, a Spanish startup in the business of aerial photogrammetry, topography, inspection and emergency services, now joins the ranks of Hydronalix’s EMILY drone and PowerVision’s PowerDolphin in providing effective solutions for ocean-based emergencies and the first responders in charge of handling them. The Auxdron, specifically, is comprised of four arms, eight rotors, and three modules each carrying a tethered lifejacket. It has a waterproof carbon fiber body and can fly continuously for up to 34 minutes, or 26 minutes when carrying two jackets.
Once the immediate threat of drowning was over, lifeguards raced to retrieve the woman via jet ski, and finally got her back to solid ground. The Auxdron kept an eye on the remaining swimmers from above, throughout, recording their location and monitoring them until they, too, could be manually retrieved. Fortunately, everyone involved is safe and sound.