A dramatic rescue at Lennox Head on the state’s Far North Coast has made world history after new drone technology was used to save two swimmers struggling in heavy surf.
As lifeguards were training to familiarise themselves with the drone equipment as part of the NSW government’s $16 million shark mitigation strategy on Thursday, a call came through of two distressed swimmers.
Lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan, the 2017 NSW Lifeguard of the Year, was piloting the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the time, immediately responded 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.”