On Thursday evening around 9:40 p.m., kayakers found an overturned kayak and belongings in Boomer Lake near Stillwater, Oklahoma. First responders from multiple agencies were involved in the search for the missing kayaker and used a drone with a thermal camera as well as other equipment.
Drone with a thermal camera used in the search for missing kayaker
According to the Stillwater News Press, witnesses said that they were kayaking and fishing with friends on the creek north of the lake near The Links apartments when they spotted the kayak. They said a lot of the gear, which included fishing gear, a backpack and other personal effects that looked new and of high quality, not the kind of things a person would leave behind. They also found a bucket with an unopened beer floating by the kayak.
Included in the search were a rescue boat from the Stillwater Police Department and Stillwater Fire Department, a medical helicopter from Oklahoma City, and a drone with a thermal camera. The rescue crew was unable to find a heat signature with the thermal camera from the drone. They said that this time of year there might not be a big enough temperature difference between a human body and the surrounding area to become visible on the screen.
The search for the missing kayaker was unsuccessful on Thursday and had been continued on Friday morning when an Oklahoma Highway Patrol dive team located the missing kayaker, identified as 29-year-old Blake McSparrin, dead. According to KOCO News 5 ABC, police said this was an apparent drowning.
Read more stories where drones are used for good in search and rescue missions here.
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