Real-world SAR missions flown by DSAR pilots:
23 Sep 2019 - A DSAR member Flew a search mission in Cocoa Beach, FL on 23 September 2019 in support of Cocoa Beach Rescue. Over 1 hour and 15 minutes of flight time and four sorties searching for a drowning victim in rough ocean waters. Victim was not found and search was suspended due to poor visibility and loss of daylight. Search will resume in the morning.
22 Sep 2019 - From the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office. Deputies were out late last night working to rescue a man that had gotten lost in a wooded area near his home in the Mt. Olive community. The man was eventually located by one of our drone pilots and safely recovered by our Emergency Services Team. We are thankful and relieved to have the man back safely home with his family. The DSAR member found him ... I got called out to find a man lost in the woods behind his house last night in Ohatchee, AL. I flew from about 11:00 pm until 12:30 am. I found him on my first battery, about 10 minutes into the search. The woods were so thick I was on my 4th battery before we got him out of the woods. I had to guide our Emergency Services Team in to him and then back out. The man was ok and didn’t require any medical services. I was flying my Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual with the spotlight attachment. I also flew under my § 107.29 – Daylight Operations waiver.
May 31 2019. A young man was tragically drowned beneath waterfalls. A DSAR drone was first on the scene but unable to locate him 20 ft underwater even with a thermal camera. Air currents around the waterfall made the drone challenging to operate.
May 28 2019. A fisherman was missing in a watershed. He was located within minutes of drone launch at night (with a night waiver), tragically deceased in the water.
18 May 2019 - "One of our guys had a real-world mission this morning and reported .... “Just got home from a mission. Two women got lost in the woods, they called on the cell phone they had with them, the battery died before they could be located. A ground team saw them but couldn't figure out how to get there, so Shane directed them from the air then told them the best way to get out of the woods. There was a creek and dense woods to navigate through. The Sheriff deputies were impressed with what the drone could see from 150 feet. I didn't get a chance to fly, just was Shane's VO. Great way to start the weekend.” Note: the rescue used the loudspeaker accessory on the M2ED.
7-9 Apr 2019 in the Bankhead National Forest searching for a missing elderly man who was ultimately found alive after 4 days
23-24 Mar 2019 in Mentone, AL searching for a teenager tragically swept away in high water and drowned.
Other Reports of real-world DroneSearch & Rescue
Dramatic moment that a police drone finds a missing man
On the cliffs on Exmouth on the south coast of the UK, the Drone Team of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset Police saved the life of an individual on Thursday, 31st May 2018. After searching for hours on foot, a drone was put up by the team and found the missing semiconscious man within 8 minutes with a thermal imaging camera. Here's the moment they found a high risk missing person on the cliffs at Exmouth within 8 minutes of being airborne.
On February 25, 2018, police in Lincolnshire, UK saved the life of an unconscious man when they used a thermal imaging drone to find the man, who was at risk from freezing to death after crashing his car and landing in a ditch. Here is moment the drone found a hypothermic man in a 6’ deep ditch 160m from his crashed car in the pitch dark. On the same day, rescuers in Paulo, Brazil, saved a struggling kitesurfer who had lost his board in the water by dropping a buoy to him with a drone.
Two teenagers were saved from rough surf by a drone in the northern NSW town of Lennox Head on January 19, 2018. Surf Life Saving NSW had literally just unveiled the Westpac Little Ripper drone when the teenagers were spotted struggling in the water. Here is the video.
Police used to drone to help locate a 90 year old woman with dementia. Story and video is here.