Okay, okay, now that we have your attention, there are some very innovative things going on at Charlestown beaches this summer and with some of the rough currents this year and high number of rescues taking place, Charlestown GIS Coordinator Stephen McCandless explains that the town is employing drones outside their usual duties, and to help with assisting swimmers who get into trouble.
Lifeguards, like FAA-certified drone pilot for the town, Luke Slom, recently provided a demonstration of just how the process works by flying a drone out over the water. Slom explained that once over the area, you hit a button and it deploys a pouch that inflates as it hits the water.
McCandless continued by explaining the drone would help to keep a person afloat, and that they had other uses, like finding a missing child on the beach and also identifying fins and dangerous debris in the water.
Charlestown has a drone at each of its two town-operated beaches and while the DEM also has drones it appears they may be looking to contact the town to learn more about the practical applications of the program.
WPRI wrote about it here.