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Dubai floats drones for beach rescue
October 11, 2018
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DUBAI: As part of its keenness to maintain the safety and security of public beach users in the emirate, the Dubai Municipality (DM) has developed “Flying Rescuer,” an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV.

Commenting on the announcement, Khalid Sharif Al Awadhi, CEO of Environment, Health and Safety Sector, said, “The emirate is keen to provide all safety standards for its residents and efforts are constantly being exerted in Dubai Municipality to implement practices to enhance the safety principle especially in destinations that are witnessing continuous growth in the number of visitors such as beaches.

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 is currently being used around the world designed only for individual rescue operations.” In turn, Alia Al Harmoudi, Director of Environment Department, said, “The municipality has developed an excellent local UAV or drone, whose unique design is capable of responding to group or individual drowning cases.

The drone can transport up to four rings of lifebuoys to the drowning incident area which can 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 gives the initial response to drowning so that the human rescuers have access to the situation, which makes the rescue operations on holidays and weekends easier.” 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 “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 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 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.


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