It’s easy to look at drones with a wary eye as they can easily be used for a variety of nefarious reasons. They can invade our privacy, they can be used to track people, and they can be used for surveillance. On the other hand, they can also save lives, as two teenage boys in Australia recently discovered after they became caught in some rough surf and struggled to make it back to shore.
Right Place, Right Time
It just so happened that the local lifeguard service was testing a new, gigantic done that will be used to spot sharks early enough to warn swimmers. As the drone was making its patrol along the shore, the operator noticed the swimmers, and officials who were present for the test quickly devised a rescue plan.
The drone was fitted with an inflatable buoy and airdropped over the teens. They grabbed hold of the buoy and used it to help them reach shore where they were met by lifeguards. Fortunately, the boys were unharmed despite being exhausted from their struggle to swim through the rough surf. All told, the entire rescue operation took about 2 minutes.
To put that into perspective, it could have easily taken lifeguards two or three times as long to reach the swimmers if they were stationed at the closest beach. Those extra minutes could mean the difference between life and death in a water survival situation, and there is little doubt that the drone played a vital role in giving this incident a happy ending.
This isn’t the first time that a drone was used to rescue a swimmer. A boy on vacation with his family in the Caribbean was swimming in some crystal-clear water that happened to contain a pod of sharks. Fortunately, another tourist on the beach happened to be flying a drone overhead in order to take some pictures of the water. He was looking at his monitor when he noticed that the sharks were moving into an attack formation and heading for the boy. He started shouting at the boy to get out and alerted his parents to the problem. The boy was able to escape with just moments to spare as the first shark got within a couple of feet of making contact.
How Can You Benefit?
These are just a couple of examples of how drones can provide us with innumerable benefits in survival situations. They can be used to locate someone who just got lost. They can be used to track animals that may pose a threat, or that represent an opportunity for an easy meal. You can use them as a navigational aid or to alert you to hazards that may not be visible from the ground. They can also be used to detect trespassers and potential intruders.
While a drone isn’t for everyone, many of us can definitely gain a tactical advantage by having one at our disposal. If you haven’t thought about incorporating drones into your preparedness efforts, hopefully these examples will cause you to reconsider.