The Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver is a fleet of single and multi-rotor drones, otherwise known as UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Drones) custom-made for search, rescue and lifesaving operations. They deploy rescue devices and communicate with victims in need of help. They also use AI to detect a variety of marine threats in oceans and waterways, such as sharks and crocodiles with high accuracy, in real-time.
The Little Ripper is equipped with a Marine Rescue Pod, a floatation device that can support 3-4 people. It automatically inflates when dropped into water and is re-usable and re-packable by installing a new CO2 canister. For night rescues, the pod is illuminated with lights and reflective tape and can include a large sea anchor and a Shark Shield.
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On January 18, 2018, the Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver reportedly performed the world’s first recorded drone surf rescue in stormy seas off the coast of Lennox Head, NSW, Australia.