Drones get a lot of criticism for both privacy and air safety concerns, but they also hold enormous potential beyond simply making aerial photography and videography available to the average shooter. This video shows some of that potential as a drone saves two swimmers caught in a rip current.
Lennox Head, New South Wales is a popular Australian surfing spot. Recently, people on the beach spotted two teenage boys caught in a dangerous rip current that was pulling them out to sea while large waves battered them. Rip currents are especially dangerous as they're very hard to discern, and their narrow, strong flow moves straight out to sea, often causing inexperienced swimmers to attempt to swim back toward shore and exhausting themselves (sometimes leading to drowning) in the process. In this case, a Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver drone was flown to the two boys, where it quickly spotted them and dropped a floatation device that allowed the two to make it back to shore safely, as you can see in the video above. The Guardian reports that at 70 seconds, the rescue took only about a third as long as it would have with a lifeguard.
[via The Guardian]