Nefarious use of drones is likely to get worse before it gets better, according to officials.
In the past year alone, media accounts from five continents have documented dozens of people saved from danger thanks to drones. Rescuers have used drones to drop buoys to struggling swimmers in Australia and Brazil; England and America; and find stranded people in farm fields, along rivers and on mountain trails.
From May 2017 through April 2018, DJI has counted 65 people who were rescued from peril by use of a drone.
A single incident involved 24 tourists lost at night on a mountain with no food or water. Searchers found them with a drone after three hours of effort, and needed hours more to carry them to safety. While it is unlikely that all 24 would have perished without the drone’s help, some were clearly saved from potential injury or death
“Kind of looks like a deer caught in the headlights,” said Micah Perkins, of Wewoka, Oklahoma. who said he knew something was wrong at his neighbor’s home.
Perkins then picked up his drone.
“I didn’t really think about it,” he said. “I just had it, and it was the perfect opportunity.”
Authorities said the female suspect, identified as Marissa Ramsey, was with a man but he left her in the dust.
“When he spotted the drone spotting him, he drove off rather quickly,” said Deputy Thomas Wood with Seminole County. “And, at this time, the operator of the drone noticed a female running from the residence.”