New drone to be used in SAR missions in Wales

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A member of the Brecon Mountain Rescue team tests the new drone. Photo - Brecon Mountain Rescue team

Brecon Mountain Rescue team based in Wales has received authorization to use drones as part of search and rescue (SAR) missions.

The emergency service, which is staffed entirely by volunteers and funded by donation, will spend the next six to 12 months developing a drone SAR service, which will be operated by the team’s seven Civil Aviation Authority-licensed pilots.

The drone, which the team is currently working with a university to develop, is a waterproof model, with enhanced search capabilities and pay load capability. This means that vital medical equipment such as a defibrillator could be delivered directly to a casualty site before mountain rescue personnel are even able to get to the scene.

For now, a DJI Mavic Enterprise dual drone – call sign India Golf – has been donated to the team to enable the development of their additional SAR resource.

“Big thank you to Brecon Beacons National Park and National Trust Brecon Beacons and Monmouthshire,” the Brecon Mountain Rescue team said in a post on Facebook. “They have given permission for training in specific areas and access to all areas for call out purposes.”

The rescue team also added that drone flying in the Beacons is restricted for the protection of the environment and members of the public.

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