An Irish software start-up is teaming Clare County Council to assist lifeguard operations by using drones for automated beach patrols.
The Irish Examiner reports that DroneSAR, the developers of a new drone and rescue app, are joining forces with lifeguards to use drone technology to monitor those in distress, the first time drones have been used this way in Ireland.
DroneSAR’s software allows drones to scan large areas from above, shortens search times, reduces the risk to lifeguards, and basically save a lot of lives.
In a recent study in Sweden, it took a lifeguard team consisting of 14 people an average of 4 minutes 34 seconds to search and locate a manequinn in a 100m by 100m area, whereas it took the drone team (one pilot and one lifeguard) just 47 seconds.
Clare McGrath, Water Safety Development Officer, Clare County Council, said: “Our lifeguards are tasked with quick response times and do so over large distances. Fast detection is crucial in the Drowning Chain of Survival.
The new plan will see lifeguards in Spanish Point, Clare, using the most modern drone technology that will enable them to see live-video downloads from any computer or laptop.
Oisin McGrath, DroneSAR CEO, said: “Lifeguard teams using DroneSAR will now be able to monitor live footage from the furthest reaches of their patrol areas, with instant access to call emergency services should the need arise. 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,” he said.