Drones for Search & Rescue Missions

Search and Rescue Drones

Drones, Sensors, Searchlights and Spotlights


Search And Rescue Drones

Drones have revolutionised search and rescue operations.

At least 750 people around the world have been rescued as a direct result of drone technology, according to official stats from DJI.

Drones are vital for search and rescue operations for the following reasons:

  • Efficient large area coverage
  • Easily reach difficult-to-access areas and scale tricky terrain
  • Quick and cost-effective to deploy
  • Can fly low to the ground
  • Thermal and zoom cameras aid searches
  • Integrate loudspeakers and spotlights for enhanced mission versatility
  • Drone data can be used to build 2D maps and 3D models for vital situational awareness

"We were looking for a missing teenager. Officers on the ground couldn't see her. But the drone, with a thermal camera, detected her. Without the drone, she would have been found dead in the morning. The reliability and results of the drone are outstanding."

Mark Talliss, Wiltshire Police

Search and Rescue Case Studies

Learn how drone sare revolutionising search and rescue teams.

Thermal Camera Drone Rescues Stranded Group

A thermal camera drone helped rescue six missing people from treacherous duneland - finding them in less than five minutes.

Under the cover of darkness, Southport Lifeboat crew deployed the DJI M210 V2 drone and XT2 thermal camera to scan the vast area of complex terrain in Ainsdale.

Just four and a half minutes after takeoff, operators saw a flash of light from a mobile phone belonging to the stranded group. The team homed in to confirm it was the missing party, and subsequently escorted ground crews to the exact location to bring the people home safely.

It would have taken at least an hour to conduct the same search using a traditional foot patrol.

Missing Pensioner Saved by Drone

This video shows the moment North Wales Police used a drone to find a missing pensioner - and his family said he didn’t stand a chance without it.

Roy Giblin, 82, had been missing for almost 24 hours when he was found with a DJI M300 RTK drone and H20T camera. The zoom, in particular, proved useful.

The search had involved foot patrols and the police helicopter, but it was the drone - flying close to the ground - was able to locate Mr Giblin in an overgrown grassy area.

Drones for Mountain Rescue

Mountain rescue teams are benefiting from drones.

A case in point is Lochaber, Scotland’s busiest mountain rescue team, which covers the UK’s highest peak, Ben Nevis.

Deploying drones in such a hostile environment has the following benefits:

  • 50% quicker than traditional search methods
  • Requires less crew members for certain missions: The drone can do a quick spot check instead of sending out a large contingent on foot
  • Widens the search area and provides an overview of the scene
  • Overhead inspections of areas of concern, including avalanche sites and cornices
  • Keep tabs on crew members once they have embarked on a rescue: Where they are and conditions around them
  • Drone mapping to build 3D models of a rescue area: Particularly effective if the team is not familiar with the area.

Devon and Cornwall Police Test Payloads

New purpose-built spotlight and speaker payloads are available to assist search and rescue teams with their missions.

Watch Devon and Cornwall Police test out the drone loudspeaker payload with the Matrice 300 RTK.

Drone Response Vehicle

Custom Drone Unit Vehicle.

heliguy™ has a dedicated drone support vehicle designed, developed and manufactured in partnership with Venari - Britain’s largest and most established manufacturer of ambulances and emergency services support vehicles.

The rugged 4x4 is specifically designed for enterprise drone operations, and was designed and built by Venari’s Specialist Vehicle Operations team, to facilitate streamlined and efficient drone deployment.

The vehicle features a ready-to-fly mechanism - enabling on-board aircraft to remain fully-assembled and ready for immediate deployment; a DJI AeroScope RF Drone Detection unit; temperature-controlled battery charging area; a real-time weather station; and a 43-inch QLED screen with integrated Command and Control Unit interface.

The Drone Support Vehicle is 4G/5G enabled, is capable of unlimited run times thanks to its onboard generator, features dark-mode interior and exterior lighting for night ops, and is adaptable and future-proof thanks to its modular design.

It can cater to an array of drone platforms and is D-RTK base station compatible.

Training by Drone
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