Drone saves 2 swimmers at Australian beach

'Lifeguard' drone rescues boys swept out by rip tide

A drone has assisted in the rescue of swimmers at sea for the first time ever.

Beachgoers spotted the teens struggling in the waves nearly a half mile (700 meters) away from the shore at Lennox Head, New South Wales.

The swimmers used the inflatable to help them to shore, where lifeguards has raced to meet them.

The rescue with the drone took only 70 seconds, whereas a lifeguard rescue would have taken about six minutes, according to Northern NSW Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin, . The lifesavers just so happened to be in the middle of a training course on how to use drones to drop floatation devices on swimmers in trouble - and so got little real-world schooling. He said that such a manner of life-saving procedure involving "a drone fitted with a flotation device" had never previously "been used to rescue swimmers like this". "On a normal day, that would have taken our lifeguards a few minutes longer to reach the members of the public", Sheridan said in a statement.

The Westpac Little Ripper UAV saved the duo from drowning in 10-foot waves because it is faster getting to the scene comparing to a standard human run-and-paddle lifesaving effort. Sheridan, who's been named 2017 NSW Lifeguard of the Year, says the drone is "an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment and a delight to fly". It's one of the purest and most sensible applications of drone technology discovered to date, and it's certain to open people's eyes to the value of drones in rescue operations.

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