Lincolnshire police drone pilot saves man who was unconscious in a Crowland field
A man who lay unconscious in freezing temperatures was saved thanks to an eagle eyed police officer and his drone.
The man had suffered a minor injury following a collision and was found in a Crowland field on Friday night within five minutes of the arrival of PC Dave Burdon and his drone.
This was the second call over the weekend when PC Burdon found a man in Swineshead.
Drones, along with helicopters, have become an important part of the police’s arsenal by helping to locate people and support criminal investigations but they have also been used for monitoring flooded areas.
Special Sgt Kevin Taylor said: “We have a fantastic team of dedicated officers.
“The key thing about our drone team is that this is what they want to do and they enjoy the role.
“Everyone wants results like this - it’s what they come to work for.”
The man was involved in a collision when his car ended up in a garden in West Bank, Crowland. He then walked in the direction of the town centre.
The man was located at 10.40pm and within half-a-mile of the collision site thanks to the drone’s thermal imaging camera and capability to cover a wide area.
Special Sgt Taylor said: “Historically, our only ability to do that would have been on foot in the dark in a large open area. This drone gave us capability to search a large area in a relatively quick time.”
The man was taken to hospital as he had been in the cold for a considerable time and suffered a minor injury in the collision.
On Saturday night, Pc Burdon help to locate a man in his 40s in Blackjack Road, Swineshead, after concerns were raised for his safety. He was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Lincolnshire, which set up the drone unit in 2017, currently has two sets of equipment and 10 trained pilots but there are plans in the new year to double both the amount of kit and pilots.
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “We have had several incidents now when we can directly attribute the use of drones to saving lives and that is a good thing.
“It showcases its value, for the fairly modest tens of thousands of pounds we invested and the technology is worth every penny.
“We are finding more and more uses for the technology every day.”