World’s First: Drone rescues two people from rough seas in Australia

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  • Drone rescued two teenage boys sucked out to the sea
  • Drone dropped an inflatable which they clung on to and swam back to shore

Lifeguards used a drone to rescue two teenagers from rough seas off the northern coast of New South Wales in Australia Thursday.

The lifeguards happened to be piloting the new technology when they received a distress signal and deployed a drone to search for the struggling swimmers.

The drone spotted two teenagers in trouble around half-a-mile out from the shore, and then dropped a flotation device it was carrying for the purpose of giving them something to hang on to, according to a report by The Verge.

“I was able to launch it, fly it to the location, and drop the pod all in about one to two minutes,” lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan said to reporters.

A government official confirmed the rescue took only 70 seconds, compared to the average six minutes it would take for a lifeguard to reach the swimmers. The drones were reportedly only unveiled that morning before being put to use, according to the ABC AU.

“Never before has a drone, fitted with a flotation device been used to rescue swimmers like this,” deputy premier John Barilaro said.