Published: 18 March 2022

Wow-what a week, learning a new ‘life skill’ – flying a drone that could aid the saving of lives! Quite a bold statement, but the delivery of rescue aids to anyone in water – and in distress – the prompt arrival of a rescue aid, in advance of recovery to land by boat or lifesaving board.

The Emergency Response Drone Pilot Award course is hosted by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) at their Worcester headquarters, with water-based activities at Aztec Adventure Park, Bromsgrove, and the training provided by Eagle Eye Innovations.

The initial two classroom-based days focused on the fundamentals of safe air flight – specific to drones. From the multitude of new acronyms (RPAS – Remotely Piloted Aircraft System – a fancy way of saying a drone!), Air Law and Aviation Safety, through fundamentals and impact of weather, to operations manuals, the amount of information imparted almost gave a ‘brain-fizz’, but this gave rise to three days of practical training. All attendees passed the ‘General Visual line of Sight Certificate (GVC) and A2 Certificate of Confidence’ that give Operational Authorisation from the CAA to fly drones up to 25 kg in built-up areas.

The remaining three days focused on the practical use of DJI Mavic drones and the SwellPro Waterproof drone. All attendees had the opportunity to put the theory into practice – from flying a drone at 120M high and 250M away from you (the drone gets very small!), to traversing an imaginary stretch of coastline for a casualty, to using the SwellPro to release a life aid.

The experience was memorable, the training team was excellent, and the RLSS UK team commendable. If you are interested in this training, keep your eye on course dates, as I highly recommend it. Now I’m off to order my own drone!

Click here to learn more about the Emergency Response Drone Pilot Award course.