SUMMARY: UAV's can be a valuable tool for lifeguards to assist swimmers who are drowning or my be caught in riptides. A drone can rapidly fly out to the victim and drop flotation aid to keep the victim afloat until a lifeguard or other additional assistance arrives.
PROBLEM: The water can become a dangerous place for poor swimmers who venture out too deep in a river, lake, or pond. Swift moving riptide current can suddenly pull swimmers out to sea from seemingly safe beach areas. People can fall off boats, piers, and bridges into water and suddenly require immediate rescue. Winter sportsman may fall through thin ice into freezing water. In all such instances, time is of the essence to get help to these victims and prevent them from drowning.
SOLUTION: German lifeguards have been testing a rescue drone that can help save drowning victims. Microdrones, in collaboration with the German Lifeguard Association, has developed a low-flying drone that can rapidly fly out the victim and drop a RESTUBE inflatable floating device to help keep the victim afloat until additional assistance arrives. The MD4-1000 is a quadcopter drone that is equipped with advanced motors, an imaging camera, carbon fiber housing, an integrated GPS system, and high capacity batteries. “An adult drowns in approximately 60 seconds and a child in only 30. All too often, this is not enough time for the victim to be reached by a lifeguard," said Christopher Furhop, Founder and CEO of RESTUBE. "Flying over the water is a much quicker way to reach the victim. By combining UAVs and RESTUBE flotation devices, we are able to buy the drowning person valuable time that could very well mean the difference between life and death.” “One of the greatest obstacles to rescuing a drowning swimmer is that they panic and we often can’t reach them in time,” said Robert Rink of the German Lifeguard Association. “After seeing [this], I have no doubt that drones will play a significant role in the near future of water rescue – and that we’ll see less fatalities as a result.”