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‘Little Ripper’ Drone Rescues Australian Swimmers In World First

18th January 2018
The Little Ripper drone is one of many that patrol Australian beaches on shark-watch duty The Little Ripper drone is one of many that patrol Australian beaches on shark-watch duty Photo: Westpac/YouTube

#Drone - Beach lifeguards in Australia used a drone to rescue two swimmers in distress in what RTÉ News hails as a world first.

The ‘Little Ripper’ was launched from Lennox Head near Brisbane earlier today (Thursday 18 January) as lifeguards were readying for a training session in the use of such drones in rescue scenarios.

When two teenagers were caught in a swell outside the safety flags, the drone flew out to the swimmers and dropped an inflatable ‘rescue pod’ and were pulled back to shore in just over a minute.

The rescue was a first for the remote-piloted mini aircraft that’s more commonly used to spot sharks off Brisbane’s popular beaches.

Drones have also been hailed as a potential revolution for coastal rescues in Ireland, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Rescue
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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