In a first, at Lennox Head of Australia, a flying drone that was being tested for shark observation – rescued two teenage swimmers who were caught in a 9-foot deep ocean swell and saved their lives.

The Australian Lifeguard Service were training a newly inducted drone that was developed to spot sharks at Lennox Head coastline, about 750 kilometres (470 miles) north of Sydney in Australia. The flying drone was equipped with a camera, rescue gear and six rotors a camera, rescue gear and six rotors had just started off its training session when the lifeguards received an alert that a couple of swimmers were caught in a 9-foot ocean swell in nearby region and were struggling in the rough surf conditions. Right after the notification was received, lifeguard Jai Sheridan decided to pilot the drone to the swimmers for help.

Sheridan, who was the 2017 New South Wales Lifeguard of the Year steered the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to the swimmers in distress and then commanded the drone to drop off the flotation pod that is equipped in the drone. The two swimmers grabbed the floatation pod which was accurately dropped and the swimmers made it to the shores with the help of the waves. The two teenage swimmers were identified as Monty Greenslade and Gabe Vidler who has headed the Lennox Head on Thursday for having a dip into the deep ocean.

Described as ‘first’ of its kind, the Australian coastguard drone became the first drone rescue since the New South Wales state government last month invested 430,000 Australian dollars ($345,000) in drone technology for rescue and shark spotting work in the state’s north. Now, the Coast guard is considering acquisition of more drones to develop a feat that will help in such emergent situations and help the lifeguards to search and rescue people in distress in the ocean.

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