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Thursday, May 24, 2012

LA COUNTY FIRE EVALUATE LIFEGUARD DRONE

LA COUNTY FIRE LIFEGUARDS EVALUATE NEW
REMOTE-CONTROLLED MARINE VEHICLE NAMED “EMILY”

EMILY being tested a Zuma Beach
LOS ANGELES – May 24, 2012 – The Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division has been working closely with Hydronalix Corporation in evaluating a remote-controlled marine vehicle that lifeguards may use to aid potential struggling swimmers who may be caught in rip currents or other ocean hazards. The initial test craft has been dubbed “EMILY” in memory of 13-year-old Emily Rose Shane, who was tragically killed by a car while walking along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu in 2010. Hydronalix President Tony Mulligan, decided to name his project after Shane, who was a close friend of his daughter’s, and was known for always wanting to help others, which is what this project is all about.

Hydronalix wisely approached the world-renowned Los Angeles County Lifeguards for input on the potential to use this technology for lifesaving purposes. “EMILY will never replace ocean lifeguards,” Mulligan commented, “but it may be able to get to drowning victims quickly enough to buy time until trained lifeguards arrive.” EMILY will need to be controlled by a qualified lifeguard who is trained to recognize hazardous ocean conditions, such as rip currents, in which swimmers may be inadvertently caught. EMILY may also have a future application in assisting in locating missing swimmers, as well as finding downed aircraft or sunken vessels.

This project is in a limited, prototype phase that will require more research and development before being routinely seen on local beaches. However, Lifeguard Division Chief, Mike Frazer, noted that, “We owe it to the taxpayer to explore potential technology that could assist public safety and well being.”

STRONG RIP CURRENTS CONTINUE THROUGHOUT
LOS ANGELES COUNTY BEACHES


LOS ANGELES COUNTY LIFEGUARDS MADE 12,768 OCEAN RESCUES DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS.

Your L.A. County Fire Lifeguards want you to safely enjoy the sun and beach this summer by following a few safety tips;

  • Always swim by an open lifeguard tower
  • Swim between the orange flags
  • Use a leash and fins when body-boarding
  • Keep young children close at hand
  • When in doubt about any aspect of your beach experience, ask a lifeguard for direction.


www.fire.lacounty.gov
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