Drone Lifeguards – Coming to an Irish Beach Near You This Summer

Drone Lifeguards – Coming to an Irish Beach Near You This Summer


Okay, so it’s not Baywatch just yet, but Irish lifesaving seems to have gotten a little sexier overnight.

An Irish software start-up has teamed up with Clare County Council to boost lifeguarding operations by trialling the use of drone technology. The drones will act as automated beach patrols for the first time ever in Ireland this summer.

DroneSAR – developers of a new drone search and rescue app – will enable lifeguards to quickly deploy drones as their first response to monitor those in distress. So if you are drowning, don’t despair if you see a drone, it is not there to film your horrible drowning death, it is there for rescue purposes.

Flight-planning software allows drones to scan large areas from above, reduce risk to search and rescue personnel, shorten search times, and ultimately save lives. In a recent study in Sweden, it took a 14-strong lifeguard team an average of 4 minutes 34 seconds to search and locate a mannequin in a 100m by 100m area. The drone team, comprising one pilot and lifeguard, took an average of 47 seconds to search the same area.

Says Clare McGrath of the Clare County Council, “Our lifeguards are tasked with quick response times and do so over large distances. Fast detection is crucial in the Drowning Chain of Survival. DroneSAR’s flight management technology will deliver key operational advantages for our counties beach lifeguard operations by enabling them to quickly search for missing, injured or get early notification of people in distress. Any piece of equipment that will allow a quicker dispatch time for ambulances, medical assistance and increased beach patrols will be a huge advantage.”

Lifeguards in Spanish Point beach will be equipped with the drone technology and Irish Aviation Authority instructors will supervise the drone flights in the early stages. A live-video downlink will enable the search pattern of each drone to be monitored by the lifeguard from the lifeguard hut.

Says Dronesar CEO Oisin McGrath, “Drones can now be viewed as airborne lifeguards who cover large amounts of ground quickly and easily. As a past beach lifeguard, I am extremely excited about the endless possibilities that these trials will bring to the world of beach patrols.”

What all this means is that you have no excuse to get out of swimming in freezing Irish waters this summer. Get yourself in there! Your epidermis isn’t going to freeze itself, people!

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