Test The Waters With Microdrones®

30 seconds. That’s how long the average child struggles at the surface before drowning. For adults, it’s about one minute. If you’re a lifeguard or other water rescuer, you know that every second counts when it comes to rescuing a panicking victim. As you rush through the heavy waters to a drowning person, you mentally urge them to "hang on."

Badge of the Microdrones mdSAR drone water rescue mission

Microdrones is pleased to announce that we’ve figured out a way for you to give them something to “hang onto.“ By using drones for water rescue that are equipped with compact flotation devices and cameras, your team can swiftly deliver the help a victim needs as they wait to be rescued.

How does it work? When someone is drowning, a specially trained lifeguard immediately deploys an md4-200 or md4-1000 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a.k.a. drone. As they fly the drone to the victim, it streams a live video that helps the lifeguard-pilot determine the perfect spot to drop a RESTUBE, a highly compact flotation device the inflates immediately when released.

Inflated Restube device used for Microdrones water rescue drones

Having the flotation device allows the victim to relax, knowing they will be able to stay afloat while they wait to be rescued. Because the drone can reach the drowning person much more quickly by flying over the water than a lifeguard swimming through the water can, it buys the victim and rescue team valuable time that could mean the difference between life and death. 

A Proven Solution: Microdrones Water Rescue Simulation

Have you been wanting to improve your rescue operations with a system like this one? Microdrones can build it. Our water rescue solution was developed with two goals in mind:

  1. Speed up the response rate; reach the victim with help more quickly
  2. Reduce the amount of panic in the victim, since this can be the greatest obstacle to saving them

On July 22, Microdrones proved our ability to accomplish these objectives by demonstrating this drone-water rescue tactic in the Elbe River for an audience of lifeguards, water rescue leaders, fire fighters, police, and many local individuals. The audience was awe-struck as they watched the UAV swiftly deliver the flotation device as the lifeguard rushed through the water toward the victim.

The applause carried down the river and the excitement on the banks was palpable.

"One of the greatest obstacles to rescuing a drowning swimmer is that they panic and we often can’t reach them in time," said Robert Rink from the DLRG Horneburg/Altes Land e.V. (a prominent German lifeguard association). "After seeing what I saw here today, I have no doubt that drones will play a significant role in the near future of water rescue – and that we’ll see less fatalities as a result."

When Seconds Matter, Trust Microdrones®

A Microdrones md4-1000 UAV equipped with a Restube water rescue device shown during a emergency simulation

Microdrones UAVs: the best drones for lifeguarding and water rescue

When the goal is to guard lives, you want to do it with the best technology available. Microdrones UAVs offer unparalleled quality, performance, and features that make them the perfect choice for water rescue:

  • Durability. Carbon fiber housing makes these drones durable for water rescue work, a job that will expose them to the elements 24/7.
  • Stability. Our large propeller size and ability to fly at a lower RPM allows Microdrones UAVs to achieve exceptional stability in the air – this is extremely important in the rough winds you’ll almost always find over water.
  • Reliability. Your water rescue UAV will be carrying an expensive camera and flying over people, so choosing a reliable drone that won’t fall out of the sky is essential! Microdrones systems are made from German-engineered components and assembled in North America, so they offer superb reliability. As many industries are quickly discovering, Microdrones offers the most trustworthy UAV platform in the world.
  • Flight times. Need to fly your water rescue UAV for an extended period of time to search for a victim or monitor conditions? Microdrones UAVs offer industry-leading flight times. Depending on payload, our md4-1000 UAV can stay in the air from 45 minutes to an hour and a half!
  • Visibility. Depending on your preference and requirements, our water rescue UAV platform will likely include a drone equipped with a camera and RESTUBE flotation devices, as well as a base station for superior monitoring and control. When flying the UAV to the victim, the lifeguard is able to view a live video streamed to the base station, so they can see from the drone’s point of view, locate the victim more quickly, and drop the flotation device in the perfect location.
  • Flotation. The power of this UAV water rescue tactic is based on the drone’s ability to quickly deliver a flotation device. This is only possible because it is equipped with RESTUBE, a device small enough for a drone to carry, strong enough to support a victim, and specially designed to immediately and rapidly inflate when dropped.