Loudoun Drone Helps with Shenandoah County Rescue

A 92-year-old hunter lost in the woods of Shenandoah County was located Sunday with the help of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office’s drone. It was the is the first successful use of the Small Unmanned Aircraft System since the implementation of the new technology in September.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office’s Search and Rescue Team were called early Sunday to assist in the search. Seven members responded and used thermal imagers and the sUAS to search the area. The drone was launched at 9:30 a.m. and 20 minutes later the subject was visually located. The search teams on the ground were provided coordinates for the man’s location and found him safe and sound.

The LCSO was the first in Virginia and the sixth agency in the United States to acquire a drone equipped with a Project Lifesaver antenna designed to help locate people with medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Autism, and who have a tendency to wander from home and become lost. Project Lifesaver clients are equipped with a wristband transmitter that emits an automatic locating signal. The drone also can carry an infrared and high-resolution cameras to assist in search and rescue operations.

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