Rescuers in Blankenberge will be using a drone next summer, the inter-communal coastal rescue service of West Flanders has announced, adding that this will be a pilot project. The announcement comes as no surprise. The drone had already been used last year in two communication exercises on the coast and the experiment had been conclusive.
As a result, the pilot project has been launched this year at the initiative of West Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwé in collaboration with the commune of Blankenberge. The province participated in the purchase of the drone, a15,000-euro investment.
The device can be used, for example, to locate lost children and other people. It can also measure temperatures, which is very useful in rescue operations at sea, and will help reduce the use of rescue helicopters.
The benefits of drones are thus evident for Carl Decaluwe. In fact, the Governor indicated last week that he wished to use them in the event of drought-induced water shortages in the province.