Drone saves two Australian swimmers in world first


The 17-year-old and 15-year-old boys were seen in distress after becoming caught in a rough swell of about ten-feet, half-a-mile offshore at Lennox Head, north of Sydney.

The pod dropped from the drone extends into a tube-shaped flotation device that carried the teens back to the safety of the shore (Supplied).

The call for help just so happened to have sounded as a group of nearby lifeguards were undergoing training in the use of drones. Within two minutes of being launched the drone had found the teenagers and dropped a life-saving flotation pod to them.

The Westpac Little Ripper UAV is a drone-based technology that carries an inflatable pod that can be deployed in rescue situations (Supplied).

A DRONE that helped save two teenagers in trouble off a Lennox Head beach has been praised by Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

A government official confirmed that the entire rescue took just 70 seconds, while a human lifeguard would have needed an average of six minutes to reach the swimmers.

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Kelvin Morton, the manager for the drone project, added to ABC that the project itself is a world-first.

Jai Sheridan, the lifeguard supervisor and drone operator on-duty during the rescue, also said in a statement that the event proved the efficiency of the technology.

"There is no other lifesaving operation or organization worldwide that is doing what we're doing on the size and scale that we're doing it", he said.

The New South Wales government spent more than $400,000 to implement it into lifeguarding.

Australia had 291 drownings a year ago.