When we think about drones, what usually comes to mind are beautiful camera shots we’ve seen in the movies or online. Or the funny video when a drone lost its camera at a festival. Some might get excited about 30-minute Amazon deliveries with Amazon Air.
But there is more to drones than cool shots and flying packages. Drones are helping to save lives all over the world. Let’s have a look at 5 most amazing instances.
Number 5: MISSING FILM CREW RESCUED IN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TERRAIN
The forests of Adana, Turkey can be beautiful, but treacherous – especially during the winter. When a film crew decided to visit the forests and find new filming locations they had no idea what was about to come. After a day full of walking and scouting they decided to head back to their hotel.
However, none of the 10 people in the crew were able to figure out a way back. They had to contact emergency services when another difficulty arose. They had no idea where they were. After a few hours of searching with no luck, the members of the crew started to complain about being very cold and hungry. And it was about to get dark very soon.
This is when the search party decided to deploy a drone. In a short time, the film crew was located, land units were able to reach them and get them home safely. Turns out when you can’t see the forest for the trees all you have to do is get some altitude.
Number 4: 3 NORTH KOREANS RESCUED BY DRONE IN CHINA AFTER 24 HOUR SEARCH
We know North Korea doesn’t like to be looked at, but sometimes they need to be looked for. North Korean officials were forced to contact China after 3 of their soldiers ended up stranded near a Liangshui, Tumen due to a river spillover. In spite of the Chinese government deploying a 10 men party to the rescue, the search bore no fruit as the river was running too wild for anyone to even come close.
The next day, after the water calmed, rescue boats were sent to the location. Unfortunately, the river flooded everything in a mile radius and the area to search was enormous. After two hours of unsuccessful searching, a drone was deployed. In the following two hours, the search party was able to locate and rescue two men and a woman.
Number 3: A MAN AND HIS DOG RESCUED AFTER HURRICANE MATTHEW
After hurricane Matthew struck the coast of North Carolina, the residents of Hope Mills were involuntarily made to stay home. The floods outside were reaching three stories. One of those residents was Quavas Hart – a filmmaker and a drone owner. When Quavas decided to fly his drone around the neighborhood he didn’t see anything out of ordinary, aside from the streets resembling Venice, Italy with the amount of water between the houses.
After he posted a drone picture of the flooded neighborhood on Twitter, a man from Texas got back to him saying that one of the houses in the picture belongs to his brother, Chris, who is currently trapped inside.
Quavas decided to use his inflatable boat to go help Chris, but luckily enough he saw a rescue boat cruising around the neighborhood.
He then used his drone to navigate the rescue party to the right house and save Chris and his dog Lana.
Number 2: SAVED BY A DRONE WHILE LOST IN THE FOREST, SUFFERING A HEART ATTACK
A man and his granddaughter have been reported stranded somewhere near East Fork of the Des Moines River in Iowa. A 20 person rescue team has been deployed to look for the pair.
Rivers with trees are very difficult to navigate, even more so when there are logjams. The rescue team was able to hear faint cries through the woods but did not see anything that would indicate the location of the stranded people.
The setting sun was making it more difficult to see by the minute. A member of the party has made the decision to contact a colleague who operates a drone. Within three minutes of the drone setting off, they were able to locate the missing pair. Once discovered, the man collapsed as he was suffering a heart attack the whole time. Without the drone, the party might’ve not found the man in time and saved his life.
Number 1: DRONE SAVED 14 CONSTRUCTION WORKERS STRANDED ON A FLOODED BRIDGE
On the evening of November 8, 2015, heavy rain caused the water in Lingui District of Guilin City, China to rise. 14 constructions workers weren’t able to evacuate the bridge they were working on in time and ended up being stranded, surrounded by water. After being trapped for more than 3 hours, the men called for help and an emergency team was deployed.
However, the wild water in combination with uneven terrain made it impossible for rescue boats to reach them.
The trapped men started to complain about being wet, very cold and hungry. This is when some people proposed to use a drone to deliver supplies to the men. At the time, there were no drones available for emergency services.
The town mayor contacted Pang Wei, a local tax office worker that he knew was an avid drone enthusiast. Mr. Wei did not say or ask anything. He packed his drone and immediately drove to the scene.
He managed to fly equipment and food to the bridge. Since the drone cannot exceed 2 kilograms of material at a time it took 6 turns to get all the necessary resources to the workers. At midnight, after the flood slowly subsided to the safe water level, the rescue was fully launched and 14 trapped people were escorted to safety.