AI-powered BVLOS long range search and rescue dronesAustralian Surf Life Savers, Aviassist Trial Long Range Search-and-Rescue Drones

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Due to the assistance of drone training specialist Aviassist, Surf Life Saving NSW’s Australian UAV Service could soon begin deploying long range drones to locate missing bushwalkers or people swept into rough seas. The technology was tested both night and day at Evans Head on the NSW far north coast, finding a pair of mock hikers who were “lost” in nearby scrubland.

The test flights saw four long range drones take turns searching for the missing hikers alongside 16 other scenarios, with the NSW government committing $1 million toward the 18 month-long Long Range UAV Project, which includes a week-long trial called the Long Range UAV Project Trial Week. SLSNSW is currently assessing whether the technology could be rolled out permanently, thanks to the help of Aviassist with regulatory approvals.

“This really is a gamechanger for surf life…