Drone Lifesavers: How Oak Island Is Revolutionizing Beach Safety

Oak Island's High-Tech Rescue Drones Are Saving Lives

Oak Island, , is taking a high-tech approach to beach safety. For the first time, the town's team is using drones equipped with infrared technology to locate people in the water and deliver lifesaving gear. This innovation has already proven effective, rescuing a swimmer in distress this season, reports WECT 6 News.

Faster Response Times

Drones can respond to emergencies faster than human rescuers. With their ability to locate people using infrared technology, drones can pinpoint swimmers in distress and hover over them. They can even drop rescue tubes and carry a tether line to help bring swimmers back to shore.

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Oak Island Fire Chief Lee Price explains that drones offer a unique vantage point: “It can see things that you can't see from standing on the beach. It can hover over the person, it can look through the infrared and find the dot where they are. It is a very advanced tool for finding and rescuing people.”

Enhanced Safety Measures

As tourist season ramps up, more people are hitting the water, increasing the risk of accidents. Even on calm days, the ocean can be dangerous.

“We post the flags, we fly them all around town to let people know what the rip currents are. Even on a green flag day it can be dangerous, so you have to be cautious about that,” Price warns.

The drones add an extra layer of safety, ensuring that help is always just a few minutes away.

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Training and Preparedness

Oak Island's fire department is training six to operate the drones. This ensures that there are always skilled operators available to respond to emergencies. The goal is to be fully prepared for any situation, though Price hopes the drones will never need to be used for rescues.

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DroneXL's Take

Drones are transforming search and rescue operations, offering faster response times and enhanced safety measures. Oak Island's use of drones is a prime example of how technology can save lives. As continues to advance, its potential applications in public safety will only grow. This is a positive development for beach towns and their residents, providing peace of mind and a safer environment for everyone.

In , life guards have been using drones for years to patrol for sharks, and to deliver flotation devices to swimmers in distress. Some of the drones use AI to identify different types of fish as well as swimmers and surfers.

Photos courtesy of WECT 6 News.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, 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 @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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