DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A drone from Greenfield was able to help locate a lost kayaker on the Deerfield River on Tuesday.
According to the Greenfield Fire Department, at around 9 p.m. Deerfield fire and police were called for a lost kayaker in the Deerfield River. The person who called 911 said he lost voice contact with the kayaker, who was floating down the river, unable to get out, and lost.
The kayak was located empty within two minutes with the assistance of the Greenfield Drone Unit that was requested by Deerfield Fire Chief Darren Melnik. Members of the Deerfield fire were directed to the kayak who confirmed it was empty. The person was found within minutes up the river on the shore from the use of a thermal camera.
A navigation app called what3words was used to provide the precise location of the kayaker to the responders from the drone. Greenfield fire said they were able to make voice contact with the kayaker and determined he was injured. He was rescued by the Deerfield fire’s inflatable boat and taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Whether you are swimming, boating or kayaking take into account advice for staying safe. One of the most important things is to always be aware of your surroundings and never go out alone.
Experts suggest having a map handy and life vests and don’t forget to properly inspect your boat and do proper maintenance. Practicing good water competency can help prevent injuries or fatal drownings during this time of year.
In 2021 more than 50 people died from drowning, so it’s important to take the right precautions before taking a dip. A recent report from the U.S. Coast Guard found that 81% of boating fatalities last year were due to drowning. Of those drowning victims, 83% were not wearing a life jacket.