News coverage of drones, particularly since they have grown in popularity, hasn’t always been the most positive in nature.  In fact, it’s leaned towards the scaremongering end of journalism in many cases so it’s not a bad idea to remember that if they’re flown responsibly, they can do a lot of good.

So introducing Little Ripper.  This is the Australian addition to the life guard set to keep it’s watchful eye on the coastline in New South Wales.   So if you get into trouble in the water along this coastline, it’s likely you’ll see Little Ripper before you see any human aid. It will fly right to you with floatation aids and a first aid kit.  It can even drop a GPS beacon to speed up the process of finding you to your rescuers.

Its other function is to patrol and watch for sharks and you can be sure it will never get tired and take it’s eye of the ball and that has to be a comfort given that the area has been subject to fourteen shark attacks in the last twelve months.

This is just one application of the drone that could make a real difference to human safety, albeit in a testing phase the moment.  If successful, there’s a planned roll out of forty units, an army of flying lifeguards making everyone safer in the waters off the coast of Australia.