Drone Helps Rescue Missing Hikers in Colorado

Two hikers and their dog were rescued with the help of a drone by Douglas County Search and Rescue in Colorado when the lost party careened off a trail path. 

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Two hikers and their dog got lost on the Devil's Head Trail in Colorado's Pike National Forest last Thursday when they inadvertently wandered off the designated path, according to CBS Denver. Fortunately, the Douglas County Search and Rescue department tackled this rescue mission with an effective, two-pronged approach. Once a search party was dispatched on foot, they dispatched a drone above the expanse of the forest's treetops to get a more practical look and have a better chance at saving the three lost citizens in question.

A rescue crew was sent to the trail at around 4:15 p.m. local time to search for the lost group, according to ABCNews. Just over two hours later, the emergency responders found the missing hikers with the help of a drone. 

The missing group was found without any injuries. 

Hopefully, we'll see drone use for situations like this more often with the same exact success rate.

We recently covered Nvidia's latest autonomous drone tech, which would significantly help hikers that are lost or injured in forest environments. Drones are being used in a wide range of scenarios these days, as their technical capabilities and the affordability increase steadily. Just last week, we covered Sweden's testing of defibrillator drones, which could massively alter the cardiac-related death toll once implemented. There is a vast amount of brilliant, functional and affordable drone use coming our way, and it seems like every few days an idea is pulled out of the ether to suddenly feel obvious. Using drones to save hikers is nothing new, but it's certainly smart, and it's nice to see this practice becoming more mainstream.

Here's a segment by CBS Denver on the incident, complete with the drone's footage and interviews with Douglas County Search and Rescue.