A pioneering drone lifeguard service put out across Spanish beaches this month saved the life of a 14-year-old boy as he battled against a strong current off a beach in Valencia. See the video below.
The drone dropped a life jacket into the sea, which kept the young swimmer afloat just as he began to sink beneath the waves until a physical lifeguard squad arrived seconds later.
“When we arrived, what we saw was a kid that was in very bad shape, with almost no energy to keep floating, so I sent over the life vest,” Miguel Angel Pedrero, drone pilot for General Drones, the firm that supplies the technology, told Reuters. “Because of the heavy waves, it was a complicated maneuver, but we finally managed to give him the vest, and he could float until the lifeguards reached him by jet ski.”
Lifeguard drone saves a 14-year-old from drowning
General Drones, located in Valencia, began assisting Spanish lifeguards in the town of Sagunto, just north of Valencia, in 2017.
More than 30 pilots and their drones work with the lifeguards at 22 beaches in Spain. They help the lifeguards respond quickly to a possible drowning before they can get there in person.
“These extra seconds are vital in some cases and also allow the rescue teams to approach the person more calmly and cautiously,” Pedrero added.
The 14-year-old boy, who has not been named, was rescued and given oxygen by ambulance workers before being taken to a nearby hospital. After 24 hours, he was sent home.
The Royal Spanish Lifesaving and Rescue Federation says that 140 people drowned by accident in Spain in the first half of 2022. This is 55 percent more than in the same period in 2021.
Read these articles on DroneXL to discover more about how drones are being utilized for good. Please tell us in the comments what you think about drones being used to save lives. We’d like to know what you think.
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