Two teenage boys were dramatically rescued by a brand new lifesaving drone in Australia this week… while lifeguards were still training to use the device.
The “The Little Ripper” drone, part of a experimental government backed project, was able to dramatically prove its worth when it helped save the lives of two teenagers on Thursday.
The two boys, aged 16 and 17, found themselves in trouble in the surf off the coast of Lennox Head, near Byron Bay in northern New South Wales.
A member of the public reported seeing the boys struggling to get back to shore, and within two minutes the new drone located the boys and dropped an inflatable flotation device to them, that they they used to swim back to shore.
Training exercise got real-real, real fast
The real highlight of the story is the fact that the lifeguards in charge of the drone, were only training to familiarize themselves with Little Ripper, as part of the NSW government’s $16 million shark mitigation strategy when the rescue call came through.
2017 NSW Lifeguard of the Year, Jai Sheridan, was piloting the drone at the time, and was able to locate the swimmers within minutes of the initial alert.
“The Little Ripper UAV certainly proved itself today, it is an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment and a delight to fly,” Mr Sheridan said. “I was able to launch it, fly it to the location, and drop the pod all in about one to two minutes. On a normal day that would have taken our lifeguards a few minutes longer to reach the members of the public.”
The drone’s camera also recorded the whole rescue making the whole thing rather dramatic.
You can watch the entire one minute rescue by clicking here.