Seven swimmers enjoying the beach were swept out to the sea about 70 meters (230 feet) from a beach in the port of Sagunto in Spain. They signaled to one of the lifeguards who sent an onsite Auxdron Lifeguard Drone to check on them. The drone controlled by the lifeguard immediately performed the rescue to save the beachgoers. Watch the video of the rescue below.
Made by Spanish startup GeneralDrones, the Auxdron features eight props/motors located on the ends of four arms, along with a watertight carbon fiber body and a maximum flight time of 34 minutes – that goes down to 26 minutes when it’s carrying a payload of two inflatable life jackets.
In this incident, shore-located operator Diego Torres remotely piloted the drone out to the swimmers. He was guided by radio communications with the lifeguard, along with a real-time video feed from the aircraft’s gimbal-stabilized onboard camera.
Once the drone reached the swimmers, its video revealed that one woman in particular was really struggling with the current, so Torres dropped and guided one of the drone’s tethered life jackets over to her. The jacket automatically inflated upon contact with the water, and was able to be disconnected from its tether once she had gotten hold of it.
Lifeguards on Jet Skis subsequently arrived to retrieve the woman and bring her to shore, with the Auxdron continuing to hover above the remaining swimmers, monitoring them and marking their location until they could also be picked up.