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Dubai Municipality launches drone to protect beach goers

Rescue drone can patrol beaches, drop inflatables to save drowning swimmers

Dubai Municipality launches drone to protect beach goers
The Flying Rescuer drone can drop inflatables to rescue swimmers in trouble.

Dubai Municipality has launched a new drone that is intended to support safety on the emirate's public beaches.

The ‘Flying Rescuer' drone can be used for monitoring beach goers and patrols, and can also drop buoyancy devices or inflatable life rafts on top of swimmers who may be in trouble.

The Octa X8 drone has four arms with two rotors on each, and can carry a payload of up to 8kg. The drone can be controlled manually, or set to automatically patrol a pre-set route. The drone also has an integrated PA system, to issuing warnings and notifications, and the system also includes remote voice guidance which can be used for pinpoint location of swimmers.

The drone is also equipped with two cameras, one for high precision navigation for live video transmission up to 1km from the control point and the other to facilitate the precise launch of rescue devices and buoys.

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.

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.

Alia Al Harmoudi, Director of Environment Department, added: "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.

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