The heartbreak of losing a loved one is unbearable, more so when dodging death would have been possible if safety deterrents were only employed. However, the statistics on fatal accidental injuries suggest that even the prescribed safety deterrents have gone too traditional and aren’t practical anymore.
Drowning tops the worldwide list of accidents leading to death, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2015 alone, roughly 360,000 people died from drowning, which accounted for over 9% of that year’s global mortality rate. Came 2018, the death cases due to drowning have only surged, despite the schemes of local and international organizations to potentially curb the dire figures.
This is also the truth for India. It has witnessed an increase in accidental drowning deaths in just three years—246 casualties in 2015; 428 casualties in 2016; and 618 casualties in 2017, excluding flood-related victims. As drowning remains a problem, the government of Vizag takes matters into their hands.
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How Water Rescue Drones in India Are Helping Prevent People from Drowning
Thanks to the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), the chief governing body of Vizag, India, the country’s ever-pressing drowning accidents will finally be solved. Starting along the coasts of Ramakrishna and Rishikonda, four fiber-coated water rescue drones will serve as sea patrols.
These drones can be remotely operated, which can aid drowning civilians within a 3-kilometer radius even without the need of a lifeguard. Each one is built with a strong support mechanism that civilians can grip onto as it flies back safely to the shore.
The water rescue drones will also be operated from the coast by the on-duty lifeguards, as initially planned by GVMC. Every drone is equipped with an intercom too so respondents can better assess the situation and condition of the victims.
Moreover, a private organization recently gave hands-on training to lifeguards on how to use the drones. A training like what are the Do’s and Don’ts safety tips when flying a drone during water rescue operations. As the GVMC official said, “In the existing circumstances, it takes time for lifeguards or the first respondents to reach out to the victims. The speeding drones would make the task easy for the guards. Each drone is estimated to cost about ₹400,000 (almost $6,000).”
The official also justified that the water rescue drones are focused on guarding the two aforementioned beaches as they hold the highest drowning death rate among the beaches in Vizag. Through this initiative, GVMC is hopeful that these beaches cease to turn into deathtraps.
As of this date, the city council has not yet released a formal announcement with regard to the project, and until then, they prefer to not disclose the company they’re acquiring the water rescue drones from.
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