Camera-mounted drones have found their way into the paddling community in recent years, proving to be revolutionary for filmmakers and helping judge high-profile competitions. Last week, a fire department in Maine proved they can be useful in real-life rescue situations as well.
When two young tubers were stranded in the middle of a rapid on the Little Androscoggin River, the nearby Auburn Fire Department was able to deliver a PFD to them with a DJI Phantom 3 drone. The remote-controlled device dropped a line on the rock where the boys were trapped, and they were able to pull the the PFD across the river (as can be seen in the video). Rescuers then had the drone hover above the rescue operation, beaming back a bird’s-eye-view of the scene to officials as a raft was lowered down the river. According to WMTW News, Fire Chief Frank Roma has already been contacted by fire departments around the country asking how the drone was used in the situation.
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