DroneLife.com recently re-published an article by
Firefighters had to use a drone to save a teenager and a younger boy when they became stuck on a rock in the middle of a raging current. Rescue crews tried to reach the pair in a raft — but when the waves became overwhelming they paddled back to shore and used a small unmanned aircraft to toe a line over to the boys.
The kids, age 18 and 12, were boating down the Little Androscoggin River in Mechanic Falls, Maine on Tuesday when they became stranded on a slippery rock surface. Only one was wearing a life jacket, and they couldn’t safely navigate the unpredictable rapids to shore. So Fire Chief Frank Roma, of Auburn Maine, a county in the state’s southern region, attached a rope line to his own DJI Phantom 3 and piloted the drone out over the middle of the river. He then sent a life jacket over the line and used the Phantom to watch from above.
Multiple videos and images on the Auburn Fire Department’s Facebook page detail the rescue, in which neither boy was injured.
DroneBlog also reported on the event:
The AFD responded to assist Mechanic Falls with a swift water rescue. Also on location was the Poland FD, Oxford FD, Maine Game Wardens, Mechanic Falls PD and Androscoggin County Sheriffs Dept.
Two young people had become trapped on a rock in the middle the river while trying to tube in the high water. One had a life jacket, the other did not. As rescue lines were set up down stream and a haul system was configured to allow for an inflatable rescue boat to be placed into the water to effect rescue of the two trapped young men, the AFD utilized a drone to fly out a tag line to the young man with no life jacket.
I was able to locate a YouTube video from CNN:
Drone Assists In River Rescue