A police drone fitted with an infrared camera helped locate an unconscious car-crash victim freezing to death in a six-feet deep ditch in Ludborough, Lincolnshire. According to DroneDJ, the unmanned aerial vehicle was deployed when the victim was spotted walking away from the scene of the accident on the A16 highway. After a few minutes of aerial surveying with the DJI Inspire drone in question, the man was found in the aforementioned ditch, unconscious and with hypothermia.
We’ve reported on the enormous benefits that search and rescue groups can garner from employing UAVs in their lifesaving efforts before such as when this elderly woman who went missing in the woods was found, or when firefighters utilized drones to ensure safety before entering hazardous areas. In this particular instance, the premise was fairly simple—it was pitch black at night, and a man disappeared near a crash-site. Thankfully, we live in an era now where the logical response to this scenario is to deploy a drone that can see things we can’t. Minutes later, his life was saved. He was 500 feet away from the scene of the accident, which occurred around 2:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Courtesy of the Lincolnshire Police Department, we’re able to look at the footage ourselves.
As you can see, the infrared camera here is astonishingly effective. The missing person is clearly visible, and the operator can easily communicate to boots on the ground in which direction to walk. It's no exaggeration here to consider that this man may well have died yesterday, were it not for the immense benefits we now see in this affordable, functional drone technology we're continuously surrounded by. Regarding UAVs in law enforcement—while not everyone is a fan of the potential of misuse and abuse of the technology—cases like these are definitely arguments for rapid,massive implementation in police forces all over the world.