New Report Shows Drones Saving Lives On 5 Continents
Monday, April 30, 2018 | Comments

At least 65 people around the world have been rescued by drones during the past year, according to a new report issued Monday by drone firm DJI. The report gathers accounts from news outlets and public-safety agencies around the world and includes 27 separate incidents on five continents.

The report highlights how improved drone technology, rapid adoption by first responders and smart aviation regulations have combined to increase the pace of drone use in critical public-safety missions. In conjunction with a report released last year, DJI has counted at least 124 people around the world rescued by drones. The new report found drones have dropped buoys to struggling swimmers in Australia and Brazil, spotted unconscious victims in sub-freezing weather in England and America, and found stranded people in fields, rivers and mountains.

"Drones allow rescuers a way to find missing people, deliver supplies like food and life vests, and cut search-and-response times from hours to minutes," said Brendan Schulman, DJI vice president for policy and legal affairs. "When laws and regulations allow public-safety agencies to deploy drones easily, rescuers are able to save time and money, protect their personnel, and most importantly, rescue people from peril."

More than one person a week was rescued by a drone during the past year on average, the report found, including at least 18 found by thermal imaging cameras that can sense a person's body heat even in darkness or when hidden by thick brush.

In one case, police in Lincolnshire, England responded to a car crash on a dark rural road on a cold night but were unable to find the driver. A drone with a thermal imaging camera spotted the driver in a ditch away from the crash scene and guided officers to find him.

The report, “More Lives Saved: A Year Of Drone Rescues Around The World,” is available here.

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