Efficiently search for missing persons with an ROV


Five people have died due to severe weather in the south of France. Others are still missing. When there is severe weather with flooding, Search & Rescue teams are deployed to look for missing persons. However, this is not without danger. Deploying an ROV can reduce danger and provide support.

The cause of the heavy rain and wind was the low pressure system Monica, which already caused numerous problems in Spain last weekend. The major flooding is the result of downpours equivalent to a month’s worth of rain, but within 24 hours. The weather institute Météo France had issued code yellow and code orange in advance and asked residents to be careful.

The people involved were all in cars that were swept away by the floods. Dozens of emergency workers are busy searching for the missing people. Helicopters, boats, dogs and drones are also used. ROVs can be used to make the search more efficient and less time-consuming.

Search & Rescue teams                                                                                                                                                                                  When people are reported missing, a search & rescue team is deployed. This team will thoroughly search the flood area to find the victims. In the Netherlands, an area is divided into grids, after which each grid is searched by a diver. This method is used to structure the search and ensure that every area is searched. However, dividing an area into grids takes a lot of time. After the missing person is found, they are brought to the surface or shore, depending on the risk to the diver and the victim.

The fire brigade of the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Safety Region has currently purchased 3 ROVs from H2O Drones to support them in the safety and efficiency of the diving operations they carry out in their region.

Deployment of an ROV                                                                                                                                                                        Underwater drones can never completely replace these search teams and divers. What an ROV does offer is the ability to improve the mission when it comes to time and efficiency. An underwater drone can be deployed many times faster than an entire team of divers. The use of a drone also makes grid division unnecessary. If the ROV is equipped with a GPS system, it will keep track of which parts have already been searched and which have not. An ROV has much better visibility underwater than a normal diver. Because this underwater drone is equipped with sonar, it can see up to 40 meters ahead. So much more efficient!

In addition to the fact that working with an ROV is faster and more efficient, it also provides a safer environment for the search team. Before a diver enters the water, the ROV can first search the area for any hazards. Without doing this, the diver does not know what awaits him in the water. It can then get stuck or become entangled. By using an ROV you make the mission a lot safer for both diver and victim.

See below how an ROV can help save lifes:

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