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With advancements in technology continuing to reshape the landscape of rescue efforts, the Ulverston Inshore Rescue team has taken a significant leap forward with the introduction of a cutting-edge search and rescue drone. Volunteer Owen Collar, Head of Cyber Audit here at inTEC, is at the forefront of this innovative endeavour that promises to provide a new perspective to their life-saving missions.

The Ulverston Rescue team’s dedication to ensuring safety along the coastline of the Furness Peninsula is commendable. Their latest addition, a search and rescue drone, has the potential to revolutionise their operations and provide an advantage during critical incidents. Owen Collar, a devoted volunteer with two and a half years of service, has been instrumental in bringing this new piece of technology to the team.

Ulverston Rescue Team

Owen’s passion for aiding those in distress led him to explore the possibilities of integrating drone technology into rescue operations. The search and rescue drone is equipped with a suite of advanced cameras, including a thermal imaging camera for locating missing individuals and one with a remarkable 200x digital zoom and night vision capabilities. This impressive array of cameras empowers the team to swiftly survey large areas, providing real-time visual information to ground crews.

Owen, having successfully passed his GVC Remote Pilots exam, has emerged as the principal pilot responsible for managing the drone’s aerial operations. His expertise and proficiency in remote piloting ensure that the drone can operate effectively even in adverse weather conditions, including high winds and rain. This adaptability is crucial in the fast-paced world of search and rescue, where unpredictable elements can make all the difference in saving lives. 1

One of the drone’s standout features is its capacity to address the challenges posed by changing tides. Owen explains, “The tide comes in fast around our bay. Drones can cover large areas of our bay and the coastline of the Furness Peninsula in a short time, providing real-time visual information back to any ground crew – critical when the tide could be coming in to pinpoint any casualties and save lives.” This rapid response time is an invaluable asset in situations where timing can determine the outcome.

Moreover, the drone’s thermal imaging capabilities offer a lifeline during low-light situations and night-time operations. Owen highlights, “With the thermal cameras, individuals can be pinpointed in low light and at night, and if covered by foliage/bushes or trees, they can be located when ground crew could struggle.” This level of precision ensures that no individual is left unnoticed, even in the most challenging environments.

The acquisition of this remarkable piece of equipment was made possible through the generosity of a private benefactor. The drone’s potential to make a tangible impact on rescue operations has not gone unnoticed, and Owen and his team are taking proactive steps to secure the necessary authorisation from the Civil Aviation Authority to deploy the drone in their life-saving missions.

Owen Collar

Owen Collar‘s dedication and vision have led to the introduction of a tool that will undoubtedly change the way search and rescue operations are carried out along the coastline. With the new search and rescue drone soaring high above, the team’s capacity to save lives and ensure safety has reached new heights, ultimately reaffirming the power of technology in the service of humanity.

We are honoured to have Owen Collar working for inTEC, and we would like to wish him all the best as he continues to lead the way in embracing technology to save lives and make our communities safer.

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