Watch the world's first ever drone surf rescue

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) nicknamed “Little Ripper” deployed an emergency flotation device to save two struggling swimmers Wednesday, in what local authorities are calling the first ever drone surf rescue.

When a beachgoer alerted lifeguards to swimmers apparently caught in heavy surf off Australia’s Far North Coast, they were fortuitously piloting a rescue drone as part of a new equipment trial, NPR reports.

Responding to the alert, lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan hovered the drone about 2,3000 feet above the two boys and dropped a self-inflating yellow pod for them to grasp onto. The drone’s on-board camera recorded the sequence: from location, to drop, to the swimmers’ grateful journey to the shore.

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