A police drone located a 75-year-old who went missing in Norfolk on Saturday.
Peter Pugh, a resident of Brancaster, was walking with his friends at around 5.10 p.m., on June 16, when he got stuck in a cluster of reeds in the marshes near Titchwell.
A helicopter, 50 people, including Her Majesty’s (HM) Coast Guard, and a lifeboat from Wells found Pugh after almost 22 hours of searching.
The coordinator of the search, Sgt. Alex Bucher, said that they would not have found Pugh so quickly without the aid of the drone. The drone is able to search in locations where it maybe dangerous for the helicopter to move in close range.
Drones are beginning to amplify search and rescue capabilities. Division Chief Don Devendorf from the Prescott Fire Department in Iowa, USA, tackles city firefighting as well as responding to search and rescue calls on mountainous terrain.
Devendorf said that thermal imaging cameras could help identify hotspots or, areas of extremely high temperatures, before entering building structures. One of the challenges facing firefighters is their vision is blocked by thick, black smoke and therefore they are unable to extinguish flames if they don’t know where they’re coming from. Infrared cameras would also assist in finding people using their body heat instead of finding them with torches, Williams News reported.
Pugh was taken to the Queen’s Elizabeth Hospital by helicopter to be treated for hypothermia.
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