Fly Smart, Fly Safe

Drones tested in real-life search and rescue scenarios

This week, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) are running a special event to test the use of drones in a variety of real-life search and rescue scenarios.

The week-long event is taking place along a stretch of coastline at St Athan, Wales, with a selection of drones being used in four different search and rescue scenarios to explore how they could be used to help save lives in the future.

The scenarios being tested this week are a shoreline search for a casualty, an offshore search for multiple casualties in the sea, a mud rescue and a communications blackspot where a drone is required to relay information between rescue teams and a casualty on a cliff.

These scenarios will evaluate the potential impact of using drones – also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – on operations. Particular attention will be paid to how drones can work together with existing search and rescue teams and assets, with RNLI lifeboats and an HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter featuring in this week’s rescue scenarios, to enhance lifesaving capability and reduce risk to rescue teams.

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Lifeboats News Release
Image:  One of the drones being trialled by the RNLI and MCA
Credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams
25th April 2018

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