Talking drones shoo people off thin ice in Latvia

The State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) has a new assistant to help it keep reckless people off the ice, Latvian Television reported February 28.

Newly-bought talking drones allow them to address ice fishers and others via loudspeaker rather than yelling from the coast. 

The drone can play a standard recording or a personalized message which is recorded a few seconds prior to take-off. 

“People are paying attention to that. Because the problem is that people know that being on the ice is unsafe, but the lure is great. When we remind them [that it is unsafe] they leave these dangerous places. The municipal police are also raiding,” said the deputy chief operating officer of the VUGD Riga Regional Administration Service, Agnis Pūpols.

A drone with similar equipment is also indispensable in putting out large fires, when the thermal camera allows rescuers to predict from above where the flames will move next. Drones cn also gives extra light.

But this weekend, drones have been employed near rivers and lakes. Rescuers recall that ice can be very deceptive. On Saturday alone, the VUGD had to save five persons who had fallen through ice.

As previously reported by LSM, Latvia's record with regard to drownings is terrible. Last year the VUGD pulled 122 people dead from the water and so far this year 4 bodies have been recovered.

 

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