Canadian police search locates missing elderly man with DJI Matrice 300 drone

police search missing drone

Chalk another mark up in the “drones for good” column. This week, a Canadian police search operation located an elderly man reported missing by his family with the help of a sensor-loaded DJI Matrice 300 drone.

Search of missing man ends happily thanks to the night-seeing eyes of a drone

Police in the Ontario city of Kingston said they’d successfully located the man in a densely wooded area only about three hours after they’d begun their search. A family member had reported the 80-year-old as missing on Sunday, and Kingston began pinging his telephone to determine his location as being somewhere around the city’s rowing club. After being told by witnesses the man had been seen heading off into an overgrown area nearby, a localized search began at 7 p.m. 

By 10 p.m., cops on the ground successfully located the man – though only after getting some critical help by hi-tech eyes in the sky.

When a party was organized to search for the missing man, a member of Kingston’s Traffic Safety Unit was asked to fly a recently acquired DJI Matrice 300 drone as part of the effort. The craft had mostly been used to capture aerial shots for collision reconstruction scenes. On Sunday, however, its zoom camera, infrared and night vision sensors, and floodlight capabilities were able to prove their chops as effective rescue tools.

Shortly after the drone was flown above the wooded area, its pilot had located the missing man and began directing colleagues toward his exact location on foot. Once removed from the brush and cleared by medical workers, he was released to his family and returned home.

Use of drones, and particularly DJI Matrice craft, have become increasingly frequent and efficient in police search and rescue operations of missing or lost people. In July, for example, authorities in North Wales found an 84-year-old man who’d wandered off into an area of very tall grass and become disoriented. A full 18 hours after he’d last been seen, cops flying a Matrice RTK spotted the man that helicopters had repeatedly missed. ““Without that drone, “ his daughter had said once he’d been saved, “he didn’t stand a chance.” 

Photo: Kingston Police

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