On May 9, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatoon received a call of a single vehicle rollover on Highway #5 about five kilometres east of St. Denis, Saskatchewan. A man’s car had flipped over into a remote, wooded area in near-freezing temperatures.
Searchers were unable to locate anyone. An air ambulance with night vision was then sent in but could not detect the injured man.
That’s when Cpl. Doug Green, a Forensic Collision Reconstuctionist, used a Dragan Flyer X4-ES – an unmanned drone equipped with heat-seeking sensors – to locate the man that no human could.
The man (his name wasn’t released to the public) likely would not have survived without the drone helping rescuers locate him that night. He was wearing little more than a t-shirt and pants. He had lost his shoes and was curled up in a ball at the base of a tree next to snow bank.
“Without the [drone], searchers would not have been able to locate the driver until daylight,” the RCMP says.
“To our knowledge, this is the first time that a life may have been saved with the use of a sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial System) helicopter,” said Zenon Dragan, president and founder of the Draganfly company that makes the drone, in a statement.