San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies have shown how they can use a drone to coach a surfer struggling at sea to safety.
The drone can now also carry and drop lifejackets to anyone in need, the sheriff’s office said in an announcement on social media today.
The technology is particularly helpful these days. The number of water rescues along the coast doubled over the last two years in comparison with previous years, the sheriff’s office said.
“During COVID-19, we saw an increase in people visiting the beaches and we also saw an increase in the amount of times the Sheriff’s Office and our partners at San Mateo County Harbor District and CAL FIRE CZU San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit responded to water rescues,” the sheriff’s office said.
Better than a drone that can drop off a lifejacket is a beachgoer empowered with the knowledge on how to stay safe. All beachgoers should check on weather and surf conditions before they go out, know how to swim, always keep an eye on the waves and pick a beach that is flat and has minimal waves for families with people who can’t swim, according to the sheriff’s office.
“It’s always a good idea to bring and wear a lifejacket, especially if you have children or inexperienced beach goers,” officials added.
Photo is a still image from a San Mateo County Sheriff’s video.