Drone saves swimmers in 'world-first rescue'

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Drones used to spot sharks on Australian beaches

There is even a video of the rescue being carried out from the viewpoint of the drone itself that can be found on Quartz who first reported the news.

Two northern NSW teenagers today became the first swimmers worldwide to be rescued from unsafe surf conditions by lifesaving drone technology.

Lifesavers then sent the drone to drop an inflatable rescue pod, enabling the swimmers to escape the danger and make it safely to shore. The advantage with using a drone was that instead of travelling through the unsteady water, it can fly to the swimmers.

The rescue took 70 seconds, Reuters said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the rescue proved the trial had paid off.

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Barilaro said the country invested $3,43,000 (Rs 2.1 crore) to develop the technology in December.

The raw drone footage, which was posted to DropBox by user Ben Trollope, shows the drone scanning the surf before happening across the two teenagers.

The state government committed $430,000 to a trial of the drones off the North Coast in December previous year.

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 minutes the lifeguards receiving the report, the flotation device was dropped and the two boys, 16 and 17 years old, were able to use it to swim back to shore, exhausted but otherwise unscathed.

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Both men were tired but had escaped injury.

An unlikely hero saved two teen swimmers on Thursday when a drone dropped a flotation device as the pair were stranded in heavy surf.

"This was an extraordinary rescue with the very best possible outcome". Without the help of a drone, it would take a lifeguard up to 6 minutes to reach swimmers in need.

Drones, which have in recent years made news for taking lives rather than saving them.

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