Dubai Municipality has developed an unmanned aerial vehicle called the 'Flying Rescuer' for its Environment, Health and Safety Sector. The drone can transport up to four rings of lifebuoys to a drowning incident area which support up to eight drowning people at the same time. 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.
The Flying Rescuer will be used for initial response to drowning so that human rescuers have access to the situation, which makes the rescue operations on holidays and weekends easier.
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 in auto mode to automatically follow its path. It is also possible to remotely control the launch of rescue buoys or rafts reaching the drowning site.
The drone is also equipped with two cameras, one for high precision navigation for live video transmission up to one km 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.
The UAV is equipped with an integrated system for addressing the public. The system enables remote voice guidance to be delivered from the control point of the device, which is very useful in cases of collective drowning or in the case of sweeping currents.
Khalid Sharif Al Awadhi, CEO, Environment, Health and Safety Sector, said, "The municipality pays great attention to the development of coastal safety systems according to the latest and most advanced methods. The Flying Rescuer is the first of its kind in the world UAV, which has a unique design capable of responding to group or individual drowning cases. The drone is one of the latest innovations added to the Coastal Rescue and Safety System run by the municipality, which has achieved zero deaths due to drowning cases since its opening in 2016. The total number of rescue and relief cases was 2,139, of which 330 were group drowning cases or 15% of all rescue and relief operations at the rate of 3 to 4 people drowning at the same time."