The Brecon Mountain Rescue Team in Wales, England will start testing drones and sonar in their rescue operations after yet another record year of callouts. One of the reasons for the increase in callouts is that exploring the outdoors is getting increasingly more popular. The Brecon MRT has recruited more volunteers and they hope, that in addition to the new drone technology, this will lead to more positive outcomes when the team gets called into action.
As more people enjoy the outdoors the number of callouts increases
Up to last week, the Brecon MRT has spent 4,784 hours in 122 searches. With a few more weeks to go in 2017, this number already tops last year’s 121 searches. Other mountain areas have seen similar trends. Llanberis Mountain Rescue in North Wales has seen a record year in 2017 as well, with 220 incidents. They had fewer incidents in 2016. The numbers are up as well for the Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team, which covers parts of Snowdonia and north-west Wales. They have had 70 incidents in 2017 so far versus only 50 in 2016. The BBC reports that other mountain areas show similar increases.
Dave Williams, the spokesman of the Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team, which covers Snowdonia and mid-Wales, said that people should be better prepared and not solely rely on their smartphones for navigation and light.
Drones have been used successfully in more search and rescue cases already. Earlier this year a drone helped in the search of a Summitville teenager. Early in November, a dog was found after three days with the help of a DJI Inspire drone. And there’s also the story of an 82-year-old woman who was reported missing. She was found with a drone after getting lost in a cornfield.
Recently Parrot introduced a new dedicated thermal drone, the Bebop-Pro Thermal, this drone is specifically designed for search and rescue missions.