Brevard River Rescue: Drone Technology Aids in Saving Lives

Swift Response to a Boating Accident

In Brevard, N.C., a routine day transformed into a dramatic rescue operation when multiple people were stranded in a river following a boat capsizing incident. The Transylvania County 911 Center received several distress calls, mainly from Hannah Ford Road, reporting people screaming as they drifted down the river.

Coordinated Efforts of Multiple Rescue Teams

Responding to the emergency, Connestee Fire Rescue, alongside Transylvania County EMS, Transylvania County Rescue, and Brevard Fire Department, launched a coordinated mission. The situation's complexity was heightened by the extensive flooding that made river access difficult, reports WYFF4. Despite these challenges, rescue teams from Rosman Fire Rescue and Little River Fire were dispatched to access various river points.

Innovative Use of Drone Technology

One of the most crucial elements in this rescue operation was the deployment of a drone by Connestee Fire Rescue. The drone's aerial perspective proved invaluable, as two of the three stranded individuals were located within just three minutes of its launch. The third person was found shortly afterward, within 11 minutes. The quick location of the victims was crucial in ensuring their prompt rescue.

Challenges Faced During the Operation

The operation faced a significant setback when a second rescue vessel, navigating the flooded and debris-filled river, capsized and lodged against a bridge. The incident led to two crew members being swept downstream. Fortunately, they managed to find refuge and await further rescue. The remaining crew member, swept 150 yards downriver, also found a safe spot to wait for assistance.

Additional Support and Successful Rescues

Recognizing the severity of the situation, additional swift water teams from Henderson and Buncombe County were called to aid the rescue. Connestee Fire Rescue's again played a critical role in locating the missing team members, facilitating a complex but ultimately successful rescue operation. The team members were rescued using a vessel launched from Island Ford Public River Access.

No Major Injuries Reported

Remarkably, despite the perilous conditions and the challenging rescue operation, all individuals involved were safely recovered. The rescue team members and the initially stranded individuals were treated for mild hypothermia but sustained no major injuries. Their release from Transylvania Regional Hospital following treatment marked the successful conclusion of a tense and demanding rescue mission.

Thermal Drone Technology and Teamwork Triumph

The incident on the Brevard river stands as a testament to the power of technology, specifically thermal drone usage, in enhancing rescue operations. It also highlights the importance of teamwork and swift action in emergency situations. The combined efforts of multiple rescue teams, aided by innovative technology, led to a successful operation, underlining the community's commitment to safety and emergency responsiveness.

Photo courtesy of WYFF4.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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