At least 65 people have been rescued by drones in the last year, according to research from DJI based on data from news outlets and public safety agencies around the world.
DJI’s report, More Lives Saved: A Year Of Drone Rescues Around The World, cites the adoption of drone technology by first responders as being responsible for saving lives where in the past they may have struggled.
The report cites instances of first responders dropping buoys to struggling swimmers in Australia and Brazil, or spotting unconscious victims in sub-freezing weather and hikers stranded in the mountains.
In one case, police in Lincolnshire, England, responded to a car crash on a dark rural road on a cold night but were unable to find the driver. A drone with a thermal imaging camera spotted the driver in a ditch away from the crash scene, and captured the moment when it guided officers to find him. In the video below you can see that rescue.
More than one person a week was rescued by a drone over the last year on average, the report found, including at least 18 people who were found by thermal imaging cameras that can sense a person’s body heat in the darkness such as in the video above.