The Royal Navy is testing drones to help rescue sailors who fall overboard.
According to this news release, remotely-piloted systems which locate personnel in the water, drop life-saving equipment and hover over the location until rescuers arrive have been tested extensively by Royal Navy tech experts on Horsea Island and at sea.
“Members of the NavyX team are working out how heavy-lift Minerva drones could deliver potentially life-saving equipment if someone falls overboard. Over the past few months, the team – who are the navy’s experimentation experts – tested the drone both at the Royal Navy’s Diving School at Horsea Island, Portsmouth, and more recently on a civilian boat.
The work was completed with Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and companies Malloy Aeronautics and Planck Aerosystems. First a Minerva T-150 drone was successful in locating a dummy in the water at Horsea Island, deploying a test package which could one day contain a life raft and hovering above the dummy to signpost their location.”
The introduction of a drone means it could be used to fly out to where the person is and hover – making it easier for the ship and seaboat to identify the casualty’s location, say the Royal Navy.