The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK) is launching the UK’s first water rescue Emergency Drone Piloting Award. The water safety and lifeguarding experts have partnered with innovative Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and Drone specialists Eagle Eye Innovations (EEI) to create a unique water rescue award, launching this month.
The Emergency Response Drone Pilot Award offers candidates the opportunity to learn the skills, technical knowledge and legalities of using and operating a drone to assist with water-based rescues. The drones are fully waterproof, specially designed for rescues and can find a person in difficulty and deploy a torpedo buoy or inflatable lifesaving device, allowing precious time for a lifeguard or Emergency Services to reach the casualty.
The course content is Civil Aviation Authority approved and covers: rules and regulations of formal drone flying in the UK, practical drone flying techniques and the lifesaving skills required to perform emergency actions with a drone that preserves life until rescuers arrive.
Upon completion, candidates will receive three accreditations: a CAA A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 C of C), a General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVA) and a RLSS UK Emergency Response Drone Pilot Award.
RLSS UK was established more than 130 years ago and is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in lifeguarding and water safety. They have a proud history of helping to reduce the number of lives lost to drowning and sharing their lifesaving knowledge to save lives and ensure everyone can enjoy water safely.
Eagle Eye Innovations (EEI) are a unique company within the still fledgling Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). They are the longest-running RPAS Academy in the UK, with unrivalled experience – including RAF trained instructors with over 70 years’ combined experience and Military Search and Rescue qualified instructors. EEI is responsible for training much of the UK’s police force and other emergency services.
Robert Gofton, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), said: ‘We are excited to be partnering with EEI on this pioneering new rescue award. Concerningly accidental water-related deaths increased in 2021. If using the latest technologies, such as drones, can preserve life until rescuers can reach a casualty, it can only lead to saving more lives and stopping families from suffering tragedy of losing a loved one.
Sion Roberts, Managing Director, EEI, states: ‘The partnership we have established with the RLSS UK brings an exceptional team that can emphasise and educate the disruptive capability of Remotely Piloted technology, through professional training processes and world-class instructors. The flying skills and knowledge that the candidates will learn from the course will add a unique and lifesaving capability to their existing skillsets. It’s another great example of using Drones for Good.’
Tony Weston, who attended the trial course, said: ‘Wow – what a week, learning a new life skill – flying a drone that could aid the saving of lives! The experience was memorable, and the training team were excellent.’
The award is ideally suited to Emergency Services – Fire Rescue and Police, Local Authorities, Open Water Venues, Triathlon Clubs, Canal & River Trusts, Landowners, River Rescue, Search & Rescue companies. The first course is on Monday 25 – Friday 29 April 2022 at RLSS UK’s headquarters in Worcester. For more information, please visit www.rlss.org.uk/emergency-response-drone-pilot-award