Albany Sea Rescue Successfully Tests UAS for Potential Search and Rescue Missions

By AUVSI News posted 20-03-2017 11:56


Salmon Holes in Albany, Australia is a popular fishing spot, but it is also one of Western Australia’s most common sites for drownings, as 13 people have died at that beach over the last three decades.

With the constant evolution of technology, the Albany Sea Rescue (ASR) squad in Western Australia has begun considering using UAS to help with search and rescue missions in the area. On March 18, the ASR successfully completed a test using UAS, in which volunteers located and recovered a black wetsuit using the unmanned system and a rescue craft.

“Albany Sea Rescue has $1 million worth of boats, there's a lot of technology on these boats,” says Chris Johns, a coordinator for ASR, via “We believe drone technology is another advancing piece of technology that we should be embracing."

Johns adds, “when we're out there, if we've got a drone in the air the rescue boat can see exactly what the drone is seeing, so while we're searching we can direct the jet skis or the boats.”

The UAS and its accompanying equipment is worth nearly $20,000, and is privately owned by Brad Harkup, a member of the ASR and an officially accredited UAS operator.

The tests conducted on March 18 were done without any government involvement.

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