A man in the state of Oregon who became lost on a snow-covered road in the middle of nowhere was able to summon assistance by using his DJI drone to transmit a signal of distress.
The motorist was stranded in the snow on a road in Willamette National Forest with no cellphone service and no reception. After realizing that no one knew where he was and that his family was out of the country, he fastened his phone to a DJI drone, flew it to a height at which it could connect to a network, and then sent a message to a friend informing him of his precise location.
Following the friend's call to the authorities, rescue crews were able to find the individual in need of assistance and bring him back to safety.
During the Search and Rescue operation, the crew located another driver who had been stuck in the snow for several days.
Creative solutions with DJI drone
The Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team, who came to the man's aid after receiving his call for assistance, commended his resourceful thinking and stated that they were impressed with the successful completion of the rescue operation.
The following safety precautions should be taken when traveling during the winter months, as recommended by the Sheriff's Office:
1) Forest Roads are not maintained for winter travel. Any attempt to travel on unmaintained snow or ice covered roads (no matter how much or little) should only be made with a group of well-equipped vehicles. If one vehicle becomes stuck, the other vehicles can attempt to free the stuck vehicle or can turn around and be used to drive everyone back to safety.
2) Always tell a responsible person EXACTLY where you are going, and when you expect to be back. Do not deviate from this plan. If a road becomes unpassable, turn around and go back the way you came, do not attempt a detour without first updating your plan with your emergency contact.
3) Of the dozens of missions we have had this winter involving a vehicle stuck in the snow, nearly all of them were 4×4 vehicles and almost all of the drivers told us “I didn't think I would get stuck.” Instead of asking yourself whether you think you can get through a section of road, ask yourself “What will happen if I do get stuck?” If you (and the group of other vehicles you are traveling with) are not prepared to deal with any of the possible outcomes from an attempt, turn around and go back the way you came.
You can read more stories about how drones are being used for good right here on DroneXL.
* The photo of a DJI drone is a reenactment, not the subject's actual setup. Courtesy of the Lane County Sheriff's office.
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