The Port of Peninsula in Long Beach, Washington, has purchased an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) designed for water-borne search and rescue (SAR) operations.
The 1.2-metre-long drone is fitted with a forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera, a UHF radio, a lithium-polymer battery, and waterjet propulsion that enables it to reach speeds of up to 17 knots. There are also four handles that will allow people to hang onto the drone as it brings them to the relative safety of a bigger vessel or a shore station.
The purchase of the US$13,000 ASV was influenced in part by the use of a drone from the same series in the successful rescue of three people who had gone adrift in the waters off Rockaway Beach, Oregon, earlier in July.
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