A drone was a key player in a rescue operation that saw a mother and her son safely guided out of Weeki Wachee Preserve in Florida after they lost their way. The rescue, orchestrated by the Hernando County Sheriff's deputies, occurred on May 12.
The emergency call came through at approximately 2:24 p.m. from Linda Pedersen Park at 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. The callers were a mother and her 17-year-old son who had lost their bearings in the preserve. They also reported dwindling water supplies and a rapidly dying cellphone battery.
Reacting swiftly, the first arriving deputy launched a drone to scan the area for the lost duo. A half-hour of scanning the thick foliage eventually paid off when the deputy spotted the mother and son on a trail approximately 4,000 feet from the drone's launch site. From the drone's feed, the deputy could see that the pair were mobile and showed no signs of immediate distress.
Quickly, the drone operator reportedly relayed the coordinates of the lost hikers to his colleagues on the ground. The ground team found the mother and son and facilitated their exit from the preserve. Medical attention was offered but both the mother and son declined, marking the successful conclusion of the rescue operation.
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