SAR drone first over North Wales
The first weekend in August 2020 has marked an important milestone in Search and Rescue as an unmanned aircraft was flown as safety overwatch for the first time.
The unmanned aircraft supported search and rescue response in north Wales both in maritime and in the mountains.
It is an operational trial and will potentially have the benefits of showing operations staff for HM Coastguard live situations and incidents to provide the best response.
Operated by Bristow, provider of the HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter Service, the unmanned aerial vehicles launched from Caernarfon in Wales.
They provided supporting safety patrols across beaches from Conwy Bay to Llandudno and across Snowdonia.
HM Coastguard’s helicopters provide support for inland search and rescue which includes the mountain regions, as well in maritime environment and the unmanned aircraft will work alongside those.
Initially, the unmanned aircraft will operate only at weekends for HM Coastguard with Bristow carrying on its routine testing during the week.
Bristow is flying two Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 systems, following a rigorous, three month test programme which began in March this year.
That programme was designed to complement work being carried out by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to develop regulations under which UAVs can operate as SAR aircraft. Unmanned aircraft are expected to play a key role when UKSAR2G, the second-generation of search and rescue service due to begin operations in 2024.
Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “We will stop at nothing to keep people safe on our shores and in our seas, exploring new and innovative ways to further bring search and rescue into the 21st century.
“Drones have the potential to help our coastguard teams help save even more lives so I’m excited we’re pioneering these advances in the UK.”
Director of Her Majesty’s Coastguard, Claire Hughes said: “Search and rescue is about saving lives. Every second counts and every minute saved can prove the difference between life and death. This kind of technology has a big part to play in those moments alongside our helicopters, coastguard rescue teams and our partners from the RNLI to independent lifeboats and hovercraft.”
By Jake Frith
Latest Press Releases
In the midst of the most challenging global pandemic The SMS Group, headquartered in Southampton, ha... Read more
Seafarers are Key Workers: Essential to Shipping, Essential to the World" - Day of the Seafarer - 25 June 2020
The 2020 #DayoftheSeafarer pays tribute to unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic: the seafarers who... Read more
USS Accession 350 and Inception MK II USV’s conduct high resolution bathymetry and mobile laser scan survey in Conwy River, Wales
Unmanned Survey Solutions (USS) was recently commissioned by Conwy County Borough Council to underta... Read more
OXE Marine AB commenced production of their new model, the OXE300, in May. After passing rigorous qu... Read more
St Kitts and Nevis International Ship Registry welcomes Dr Kevin M. Isaac’s appointment as Chair of the Commonwealth Board of Governors
The St Kitts and Nevis International Ship Registry (SKANReg) has welcomed the appointment of the UK ... Read more