The Decorah, Iowa, Fire Department is crediting its drone with helping locate six missing people stuck along a river on Sunday afternoon.
According to a Facebook post from the fire department, the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department called in the fire department after three people were reported missing on the Yellow River.
The first responders then deployed their unmanned aircraft system (UAS), and within 10 minutes’ time, their locations were found along the river. The crew then equipped the UAS with a radio, which was dropped down to the people, who were able to let the rescue team know there were actually three more stranded elsewhere.
In turn, within three more minutes, the infrared camera-equipped aircraft discovered the rest of their locations, to which utility task vehicles were then sent to complete the rescues.
Local coverage from KCRG-TV9, which notes that nobody was hurt, says the six had gotten stranded when they were tubing on the river. The report says the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department is mulling purchasing its own drone, too.