RPAS Training Turns into RPAS Search


On Saturday, April 30th, 2022 SERABEC (Member Organization from Quebec) had a very interesting training day in the world of search and rescue (SAR).

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In the region of Chibougamau, the Member Organization was conducting Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) training before their upcoming evaluation on May 16th, 2022. This is part of CASARA’s new rollout of certified RPAS crews across the country for increased search and rescue capabilities through drone usage and adoption for SAR.

During their training day, the provincial police had their hands full with an active search for a missing person that was in suicidal distress. It just so happened that the provincial police saw SERABEC's RPAS training crew and was in contact with the Zone Commander/Training Officer who is an RPAS Pilot - Emile Couture. Emile told the provincial police to call the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) for support, as this is where our taskings come from for SAR. In response, they declined that recommendation from Emile and said this was a highly time sensitive search and there was no time to waste to save this person’s life.

The SERABEC RPAS Team proceeded with the provincial police and started the search. After only 10 minutes, the person was found alive in the middle of the forest (night vision imaging below).

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An immediate rescue followed suit and successfully rescued the person to safety.

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SERABEC’s Chigougamau zone is only 2 weeks away from being certified for RPAS use. You may be asking yourself “how can that RPAS team assist in a search when they're not certified yet?”. In Quebec there's a law called the “Bon Samaritain”, in which if there is a person that is in distress, you must help and cannot walk away. Although the team was not certified, they were qualified to get the job done and help provide RPAS SAR operations to the provincial police - ultimately saving a life that day.

It’s searches like this that makes CASARA proud of our volunteers for all that they do. A very unpredictable day, where RPAS training, turned into an actual RPAS search!

This is a key example of how our new CASARA RPAS SAR capabilities will help shape the future of our assistance in search and rescue taskings with drone technology. All so,

"That Others May Live"