For first time drone drops raft to swimmers in trouble

In addition to the Stella, New South Wales also have access to a fleet of different drones all capable of performing different tasks.

Both the swimmers were able to grab onto the floatation device and paddle to shore.

A Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver drone was quickly launched and directed to the boys' location, where it deployed a life raft then used by the pair to get back to safety.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, said Thursday's rescue proves that the government's investment is paying off.

Barilaro said the country invested $3,43,000 (Rs 2.1 crore) to develop the technology in December.

Artificial intelligence is being developed using thousands of images captured by a drone camera to build an algorithm that can identify different ocean objects.

The lifesaving drones, which fly out to victims and drop inflatable life preservers, are part of a fleet that the NSW state government bought for A$340,000 that include shark spotters, as well.

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The drone drops the rescue pod into the water. They made it to the shore unharmed but exhausted.

And the man piloting the drone at the time just happened to be Jai Sheridan, the 2017 New South Wales Lifeguard of the Year.

"This was an extraordinary rescue with the very best possible outcome", Blair said. Apparently, it took just over a minute - 70 seconds - to launch the drone, reach the swimmers and drop the float.

Trials of the lifeguard and shark spotting drones are ongoing across many beaches in Australia, with some tests due to complete in spring 2018.

Kelvin Morton, the manager for the drone project, added to ABC that the project itself is a world-first.

"There is no other lifesaving operation or organisation worldwide that is doing what we're doing on the size and scale that we're doing it", he said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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