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KHALEEJ TIMES, Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 | Safar 2,1440

New drone joins Dubai beach rescue team

Emirates: The Dubai Municipality has developed a drone, the 'Flying Rescuer', designed to quickly respond to drowning cases.

Alia Al Harmoudi, director of environment department, said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), could transport up to four rings of lifebuoys to rescue up to eight people drowning simultaneously. It has been programmed to respond to both group and individual drowning cases.

The 'Flying Rescuer' gives the initial response to drowning, making rescue operations on holidays and weekends easier.

"It can also be used with a rescue raft that automatically inflates when it touches the water, instead of buoys, to save several people at the same time," Al Harmoudi said.

The 'Flying Rescuer' is one of the latest innovations added to the Coastal Rescue and Safety System run by the municipality, which has achieved zero fatality due to drowning cases since its opening in 2016.

The total number of rescue and relief cases for the team was 2,139, of which 330 were group drowning cases, or 15 per cent of all rescue and relief operations at the rate of 3 to 4 people drowning at the same time.

The drone consists of a double fan mounted on four folding arms known as Octa-X8 capable of carrying a load of 8kg. It can be remote-controlled manually or by determining a specific path for the device and launching it on auto mode to automatically follow its path.

The drone is equipped with two cameras, one for high-precision navigation for live video transmission up to one kilometre from the control point and the other to facilitate the launch of rescue pipes and buoys to the drowning area precisely.

The UAV has a battery life of up to 30 minutes, allowing multiple flights without having to recharge the battery. It also has the ability to operate at high temperatures in Dubai in the summer.

It makes it possible to remotely control the launch of rescue buoys or rafts reaching the drowning site.

The new technology aims to strengthen the Coastal Rescue and Safety System with modern equipment and artificial intelligence, especially with the increase of visitors to public beaches.

THE FLYING RESCUER'S FEATURES

>Four folding arms (Octa-X8) that can carry up to 8kg

>Two cameras for navigation and live video transmission up to 1km from control point

>Can transport four lifebuoys for up to eight people

>Can deploy a rescue raft to accommodate more people

>Can be controlled manually or on auto mode

>Battery life of up to 30 minutes

>Can operate at high temperatures

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