Tuesday, August 9

‘Use of drone to locate missing man saved time, energy of rescuers’


Drone footage shows the location of the missing victim (circled) in the jungle. He was subsequently rescued about 2km from where he was last seen last Friday.

MIRI: The use of a drone to locate a man who went missing near Long Jegan in Tinjar, Baram last Friday, had saved the time and energy of those involved in the search-and-rescue (SAR) operation, said Miri Fire and Rescue chief Law Poh Kiong.

“If the drone had not been used, I believe the SAR operation would have taken much more time. The drone had allowed us to search over a larger radius from above,” he said yesterday when asked to comment about the rescue of Douglas Tibi, 33, who was found on Saturday after being reported missing a day earlier while on duty at the Sarawak-Sabah Gas Pipeline near Long Jegan.

A drone deployed as part of the SAR operation spotted the victim some 2km from where he was last seen. The information was then passed on to those on the ground, who proceeded to make their way to the victim.

“It was the first time a drone was used in our SAR operation and it definitely proved useful,” said Law, adding that the move to make drones part of the equipment needed by Bomba for its operations had already been proposed.

“The use of drones is a good idea not only for locating a missing person, but also for keeping an eye out for bushfires, which occur every year in this district.”

According to Law, many government agencies are already making use of drones to locate sources of bushfires, including the Natural Resources and Environment Board, Department of Environment, Forest Department, and Land and Survey Department.