Conducting search and rescue operations in one of the busiest waterways in the world commands the use of all the tools of the trade.
That's why the Menlo Park Fire Protection District has teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard to create a first-of-its-kind drone operation over San Francisco Bay. "Unmanned aerial systems," aka drones, have been added in the partnerships to complement commonly-used vehicles in the rescue fleet such as helicopters.
These will be called first responder drones — bringing the ability to hover over the water's surface with the ease, safety and maneuverability not found in other traditional aircraft or boats. Drones can hover and turn on a dime. So when a boater, paddle boarder, kayaker, swimmer is in distress, this low-to-the-surface aerial eye is expected to help immensely.