Drones used to save teenage swimmers

A drone saved two boys aged 16 and 17 from three metre swell in northern NSW

Within minutes, lifeguards piloted the drone to the men and dropped an inflatable life preserver.

Trials of the lifeguard and shark spotting drones are ongoing across many beaches in Australia, with some tests due to complete in spring 2018.

A livesaving drone similar to the one used in the rescue.

Lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan, the 2017 NSW Lifeguard of the Year, was piloting the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the time, immediately responded and was able to locate the swimmers within minutes of the initial alert.

Lifesavers instantly sent the drone to drop an inflatable rescue pod, and the pair made their way safely to shore. They managed to catch it and paddle back to shore.

Australia is leading the use of the technology in surf lifesaving, with dozens of drones being trialled on beaches around the country.

The rescue follows the local government's December 2017 announcement that it would invest the equivalent of about $340,000 Dollars in drone technology for rescue purposes.

"This is a world first rescue", said New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro.




The flying machine was used to carry a lifesaving device to the distressed swimmers.

A beachgoer notified life guards, who quickly deployed the drone.

"This was an extraordinary rescue with the very best possible outcome", Franklin said, Fox News reported.

The drone in question was a Stella X1000 UAV, designed for quick launching, maximum speed and then delivery of a payload, in this case an instantly inflating flotation device.

Mr Sheridan said the difference in response time was critical.

Kelvin Morton, the manager for the drone project, added to ABC that the project itself is a world-first.

"It gives them eyes across the water at a height of 60 metres and they can move at 50 kilometres an hour", he said.

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