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Drones save 59 lives in 5 yrs: report

2017/03/20 13:23

SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- Chinese drone manufacturer DJI said Monday that civilian drones have rescued at least 59 people in various incidents and accidents around the world since 2013.

"Lives have been saved by civilian drones in 18 different incidents. Thirty-eight of those lives were saved in the last 10 months, as drones are increasingly being used by rescuers and civilians alike," the world's largest manufacturer of civilian drones said in its recent report. "Based on this experience, drones are saving almost one life a week on average."

   DJI said it has searched news media reports from around the globe to generate the first list of lives saved with the assistance of drones.

DJI said 32 lives were saved during floods, as drones spotted missing people and in some cases delivered rescue ropes and life jackets so they could be brought to safety.

"Another 19 missing people were found on land, on terrain ranging from swamps to mountains to snowbanks," according to the latest findings.

One of the more high profile cases of a drone rescue occurred in late 2016 during flooding in Texas where a drone was used to get the attention of rescue workers which led to a man being saved from a flooded home, the company said.

DJI concluded that drones are regularly saving lives around the world and that many countries do not yet have a comprehensive regulatory framework for professional drone use.

The company said it has become the first drone manufacturer to reach annual sales of over US$1 billion and currently dominates 70 percent of the global market for civilian drones, mostly due to an effective deregulatory drive.

Last year, South Korea said it will lift a series of regulations covering drones as part of the country's broader deregulatory campaign aimed at boosting economic growth.

The local market for the commercial technology of unmanned aerial vehicles is currently estimated at around 27.8 billion won and is expected to expand to 1 trillion won by 2019, according to government data.

(Photo courtesy of DJI) (Yonhap) (Photo courtesy of DJI) (Yonhap)