James Coutie has one of the more unusual roles of LSV’s volunteers, as our Chief Remote Pilot.
The Point Lonsdale SLSC member oversees using drones to perform beach surveillance and mapping as part of a modern water safety initiative.
Giving volunteer lifesavers another set of eyes overhead, drones are key in identifying risks in and around the water early.
“Being able to see from above and feed live footage back to the LSV Comms Agents allows for increased awareness during an incident and for lifesavers on the beach to keep eyes on more people and places,” James said.
“Using drones to map our popular beaches means we can identify risks and plan events. The fact that drones allow for surveying from a distance also allowed lifesavers to maintain social distancing during COVID-19.
“This also enables LSV to collaborate more effectively with other emergency services, including Victoria Police.”
For example, using drones, Life Saving Victoria can assist with searches for missing persons, flying up and down the coast to identify the description provided by Victoria Police.
With the drones feeding live footage back to the LSV Comms team, they are able to alert the correct emergency department of incidents on the beach quickly, giving LSV a quicker response time.
Thank you James and your team for hard work in keeping swimmers and the wider community safe around our waterways!