The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) of Nova Scotia recently used a Draganfly Innovations unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to locate and rescue a missing family of hikers.
On Sept. 6, a family consisting of a man, woman, one-year-old child and dog became disoriented after having hiked for four hours in a heavily wooded area northeast of Topsail Lake in Nova Scotia, according to Draganfly.
At 8:30 p.m., the lost family called the RCMP, which brought in sirens and K-9 units. After those failed to locate the family, the police used a Draganflyer X4-ES UAV, which located the hikers with a FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) Tau thermal infrared camera. The hikers were then returned to safety around 2:00 a.m.
Five of these UAVs have been recently purchased by the Nova Scotia RCMP. Real-time video is relayed from the UAV and displayed on the screen of a phone or tablet, with the vehicle flown remotely by a hand-held controller.
Draganfly says the RCMP intends to deploy the drones for emergency response team calls, major crime investigations, search and rescue operations, and traffic scene reconstruction. A special certificate issued from Transport Canada enables the RCMP to operate them.
The first recorded life saved by a UAV, according to Draganfly, was accomplished by a Draganflyer X4-ES helicopter operated by the RCMP on May 9, 2013, when a driver injured in a single-vehicle rollover was located using the thermal FLIR camera payload after he had become unconscious in a wooded area two miles south of the rollover.
Photo courtesy of Draganfly