A drone saved two lost hikers and their dog

A new high-tech search and surveillance tool was used by a Search and Rescue team to find two lost hikers and their dog. The drone was able to make visual confirmation of the whereabouts of the lost nature lovers within two hours of the team reaching the area.

Near Devil’s Head Trail in Douglas County, Colorado, two men and their dog found themselves lost after mistakenly hiking off of the designated trail. With limited cell phone reception, they were able to call 911 for rescue.

Volunteer teams rushed to the Devil’s Head Trail area and arrived around 4:15 in the afternoon. By six o’clock, they had made visual contact with the two men and their dog via the drone and were then on their way to bring them back to familiar ground.

What could have been an all-night search endeavor ended with the hikers being rescued in just under four hours, thanks to the technology used to detect them early on.

Bruce Fosdick, who has been leading the search and rescue team in Douglas County since 1966, reflected on how much the times have changed since he first got involved in search and rescue operations. “Fifty years ago, basically everything was done by a group lined up in a straight line and just plodding through a field,” he recalled in a statement made after the hikers were rescued.

The use of drone technology in their efforts also saves the search and rescue teams of the county a substantial amount of money. Because the teams are composed of volunteers, there is no kind of budget to routinely make use of $2,000 helicopter flights and similar measures that are used to find missing people in the mountains.

All rescues that they conduct are free of charge, and the team sustains itself on donations from generous residents. Read more about how modern technology is changing how search and rescue operations are performed.