Risking your life to rescue your drone
We do not know if it is because some drones are really expensive, or if it is just because their owners cannot imagine a life where they are separated from their favourite toys.
Besides, we are used to news of drones being the heroes — flying into areas on search and rescue missions for human or pets lost in the woods, in mountains or during a natural disaster.
DJI actually started an interactive drone map for these rescue missions by drones, which have since passed 770 lives saved by now, in 444 incidents across 36 countries.
It has never been the other way round – a drone getting its owner into trouble after crashing to the ground and needing to be rescued itself.
It seems two US men did not think twice about putting their own lives in danger, as they tried to rescue their drones for a change, after the small unmanned vehicles had crashed in really dangerous locations.
The unrelated events happened over the weekend and come hot on the heels of another successful rescue attempt by emergency crews, who had to rush to help a child who got stuck while trying to retrieve a drone he had crashed in … last week.
In Pittsburgh, USA, WPXI News reports that on Sunday afternoon, rescue crews had to use harnesses, ropes and ladders to reach a man stranded on the side of Mount Washington.
“According to police, crews were called at 4:36pm for a man who was lost and trapped on the hillside between the Wabash Tunnel and PJ McCardle Roadway,” the report said.
“Investigators said a middle-aged man from out of state got stuck on the hill above a steep drop off. He told rescue crews he was trying to reach his drone that he had lost.
“After an extensive climb, crews were able to reach the man and help him safely down. He was evaluated by medics and did not sustain any injuries.”
There was a time when police had to close roads around the area as rescue crews worked to find the man.
Meanwhile in Dorchester, Massachusetts state police troopers helped rescue a man from the freezing waters of the Neponset River on Saturday afternoon, after a bid to retrieve his fallen drone was met with frigid resistance from the water.
When rescuers arrived at the area near Pope John Paul Park, the man was 20 feet from shore, according to a report from CBS, unable to make the swim to safety because the freezing water had him trapped.
“They threw him a flotation device and dragged him to shore,” CBS said, adding that the man was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
“He told troopers he went into the water after his drone crashed. But he quickly realised he couldn’t get back to shore because of the cold temperatures.”
Police said it was fortunate the troopers and EMS lieutenant were in “the right place at the right time.”
We do not have information on whether these men were able to get to their drones, or whether they were trained pilots or not. But just to reiterate, this is why remote pilot training is important. It might save you from getting stuck on a steep mountain slope, or from becoming a sitting duck in freezing cold water.