SHAES Adds Drone To Help With Water Rescues

First responders with South Haven Area Emergency Services have a new tool to help with water rescues. SHAES has purchased a specialized drone thanks to a $7,500 grant from Albemarle Foundation as Albermarle Corporation has a plant in South Haven. The drone is equipped with a payload delivery system that is capable of dropping carbon dioxide-charged, water activated flotation devices to swimmers struggling in the water. Operated from the shore, the operator is able to view through a camera the distressed swimmer. The drone is also equipped with an infrared camera that can be used to locate distressed swimmers in the dark. It is also capable of detecting heat signatures for search and rescue efforts in rural areas such as woods and cornfields. There were 23 incidents on Lake Michigan SHAES responded to last year, with three resulting in drownings.