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Drone Thermal Camera Helps Find Missing Dog

The DJI M30T drone was used by Derby Mountain Rescue Team to rescue a dog which had fallen 100ft down a cliff. Following unsuccessful searches by ground crews, the drone's thermal camera detected the dog's heat source, and the zoom camera provided a positive identification. Watch the video of the drone rescue.

  • Drone team rescues dog which fell 100ft down a cliff. Watch the video of the rescue, including footage from the drone; 
  • Derby Mountain Rescue Team deployed the DJI M30T to find the stricken pet following unsuccessful searches by ground crews; 
  • Drone finds the dog 10 minutes after deployment: The thermal camera detected the dog's heat source, and the zoom camera obtained a positive identification;
  • The DJI M30T's laser rangefinder provided the dog's exact coordinates to help rescuers reach her.  

This video shows the heart-warming moment that Derby Mountain Rescue Team used the DJI M30T drone to rescue a dog which had fallen 100ft down a cliff.



Fig, aka Figgy, a sprocker spaniel, was with owner Kayley Williams above Thor's Cave, in the Peak District, when she fell off a path at around 6am on Wednesday.

Following unsuccessful searches by crews on the ground, the Derby Mountain Rescue Team deployed the M30T - and it took just 10 minutes to find Figgy.

The M30T's thermal camera detected the stricken pooch's body heat, and the animal was positively identified using the drone's zoom camera - with crews benefiting from a visual and thermal side-by-side view.

The M30T's laser rangefinder was used to obtain her precise GPS coordinates. A PinPoint was then placed on Figgy and her location information was shared with team members who abseiled down to retrieve her.



Figgy was reunited with her owner, who described it as an unbelievable moment.

Brendan O'Neill, drone lead for Derby Mountain Rescue Team, said: "The incident showed the value of being able to deploy a drone, and we were delighted to use it to find Figgy.



"The team had searched around Thor's Cave, and descended on ropes to search some outcroppings/ledges, but with nothing found, the team deployed our drone asset, which located the dog's body heat with the infrared camera, and positively identified her using the zoom camera at 160x zoom.

"It was only by going into 160x zoom through the vegetation that we could confirm the heat source was indeed figgy and not a rock.

"We utilised the PinPoint feature as Figgy was invisible to the naked eye and the terrain in the immediate area was all very similar, and any movement of the drone meant she disappeared again due to the thick vegetation cover.

"Placing a PinPoint on her location also meant that we could bring the drone back in to land , swap fresh batteries and start the recovery phase going back in on the saved PinPoint to guide the guys in from above on the rope system."

Figgy received lots of cuddles after her rescue. She sustained broken ribs but is now home, safe and sound.

The operation, which had taken about five hours, was stood down at 1.30pm. All members of Derby Mountain Rescue Team are volunteers and the team relies solely on donations to stay operational and purchase equipment.

The drones in the DJI M30 Series are effective platforms for search and rescue operations. The DJI M30 and M30T feature a 12MP wide camera, a 48MP zoom camera with up to 16x optical zoom and 200x max. hybrid zoom, and a laser rangefinder with a range of up to 1200m. The M30T is also equipped with a 640 x 512 thermal sensor.


The DJI M30T drone is compact and portable.


Both the M30 and M30T have an IP55 rating for an expanded operational envelope, a maximum flight time of 41 minutes, and are compact, foldable and portable. They can also integrate with additional modules, like spotlights and speakers.

Contact heliguy™ to start or scale your drone programme with the DJI M30 Series.


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