Watch: Little Ripper Drone Saves Swimmers Down Under

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Two swimmers have been saved in a dramatic rescue at Lennox Head, New South Wales, Australia. And the whole thing was recorded by the drone. It’s the first time we’ve seen the Little Ripper drone in action.

Lifeguards were getting to grips with the Litle Ripper drone as part of the NSW government’s shark mitigation strategy, when a distress call came through reporting two swimmers in trouble. The drone was quickly deployed and able to drop an inflatable to help the swimmers get back to shore.

Watch the footage here.

little ripper rescues swimmers in australia

You Little Ripper

Piloting the drone was lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan, who was able to locate the swimmers within minutes of the initial distress call.

“The Little Ripper UAV certainly proved itself today. It is an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment and a delight to fly,” he said.

“I was able to launch it, fly it to the location, and drop the [inflatable] pod all in about one to two minutes. On a normal day that would have taken our lifeguards a few minutes longer to reach the members of the public.”

Westpac Little Ripper chief executive Eddie Bennet said that the rescue “clearly illustrates the benefit of this cutting-edge technology in such a time-critical emergency situation.”

“The investment by Westpac in allowing the development of the Westpac Little Ripper, is the new generation of rescue services,” he said.

westpack little ripper drone saves lives in australia

The Westpac Little Ripper drone allows lifeguards to spot swimmers from above and drop an inflatable device.

Ben Franklin, Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW, said “It took only 70 seconds from when the Little Ripper drone was launched to when it dropped the pod into the ocean for the rescue, a task that would usually take a lifeguard up to six minutes to complete.”

“This was an extraordinary rescue with the very best possible outcome.”


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