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Drones to help lifeguards cut drownings by 40 percent





Water Safety

Drones that can reach swimmers in distress, drop off flotation

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 April, 2015 - Shoreditch, London - London's The Daily Mail reports today that area beaches may become safer, with the deployment of a number of lifeguard drones—little flying robots outfitted with cameras, lights, thermal technology, and emergency flotation, which can supposedly reach distressed swimmers quicker than human lifeguards.

RTS, the company responsible for the drones' development, think these could be a real game-changer for water safety. "This is the future of lifeguards I believe,' Adam Rigi, the 28-year-old owner of RTS, told The Daily Mail. "

"In a competition, we found a lifeguard could perform a rescue in 90 seconds, but the drone took 20 seconds. That 70 seconds could be the difference between life and death. Finding people is hard with rescue teams. Moving in boats, you don't get good vision. But the drones' range and height can spot a drowning person, which is really helpful for ships. A rescue team could take 10 to 12 minutes where a drone could take one minute. Basically this increases the efficiency and decreases danger to lifeguards."

RTS is working on developing a floating station on which the drones could dock, and be charged using solar energy.

'At the moment many people talk about bad drones and drones that are spying and killing people but I think everything has a good side and a bad side,' Rigi told The Daily Mail. "People should see the good side to drones where they can save lives. The drones can reach people stranded at sea far quicker than lifeguards and can deploy three buoyancy aids in one flight.'

Rigi says they hope to decrease drownings by 60% using the drones.

The Editors

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