In December last year, drones equipped with a Restube have been available for rescues in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and at the end of March, a kitesufer’s life was saved by just such a drone. Restubes are self-inflating rescue rafts that can be dropped to people in distress in the water, giving them the support they need until a boat with rescue personnel can get to the scene. When a kitesurfer lost is board near the Guarapiranga dam, he first swam towards shore and waited for help, watched carefully by the local fire department, but when he started to tire, the operators launched the drone.
SkyDrone, a local company, worked with Restube GmbH to develop the unmanned air vehicle and combine it with the rescue raft. CEO of SkyDrone Ulf Bogdowa commented: “It is not about replacing lifeguards, but providing a very quick first aid with flotation until the lifeguards arrive – time is the most relevant factor when it comes to safety in the water.”