Next wave in rescues: Remote-control 'lifeguards'
WESTERLY, Rhode Island (AP) - Think of a lifeguard and you might conjure up images of sunburned teenagers working a summer job. A new and relatively inexpensive lifesaving device could change that.
Meet Emily, a remote-controlled lifeguard. It looks like a buoy, but it's a small watercraft fitted with a flotation device. It can go up to 35kmh and can get to people more quickly, and in some cases more safely, than any human.
It's being used by a handful of communities. Last month, it was used in its first rescue.
"In the day and age of shrinking budgets and the availability of personnel, this is just another thing we can use," said Mr Joshua Williams, chief of the Depoe Bay Fire District in Oregon, which performed the rescue with it on July 15.