The drone dropped an inflatable rescue pod. Image Credit: New South Wales Government
A new lifesaving drone has already proven its worth after rescuing two swimmers off the coast of Australia.
The remarkable rescue, which marks the first time a drone has ever been used to save someone from drowning, took place after two teenage boys got in to difficulties off the coast of New South Wales.
Rather than making their way out to the stricken swimmers themselves, lifeguards instead opted to send a remote-controlled drone equipped with an inflatable rescue pod that it dropped in the ocean once it had reached the place where the two boys were struggling.
By grabbing on to the pod, the teenagers were able to make their own way safely back to shore.
"The Little Ripper UAV certainly proved itself today, it is an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment and a delight to fly," said drone pilot and lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan.
The drone, he noted, took only a fraction of the time it would have taken a conventional lifeguard crew to reach the stricken youths - meaning that they may not have otherwise made it back home alive.