A drone to save dogs trapped by a volcanic eruption

Drones to save dogs trapped by a volcanic eruption

The first time such an attempt will be made, but the window of opportunity is short

Yesterday, authorities on the island of La Palma authorized a drone operator to attempt the rescue of three stranded dogs using a specially equipped flying machine. The animals, which are now quite malnourished after weeks of isolation, will have the chance to be brought to safety, however, there is only an 8-minute window to complete the operation for each of them. .

50 kg drone equipped with a net

La Palma has made headlines around the world thanks to the ongoing volcanic eruption which has disrupted life in part of its territory. The lava flowing from Cumbre Vieja has already engulfed thousands of homes before reaching the ocean. In addition, volcanic ash and hot gases in the area prevent helicopters from getting there.

It seems, however, that where helicopters can’t go, drones can. In fact, the dogs in question are still alive thanks to the continuous deliveries of food and water made by the flying devices. These care missions began on October 9 after the Canary Islands Department of Safety and Emergencies hired drone operator Ticom Soluciones SL to provide food for animals living in a stranded yard.

It has now been decided, however, to take the next step and try to fish the dogs out of their enclosure and airlift them 450 meters above the lava flow to a safe location. where they can be recovered.

For this purpose, Reuters indicated that a 50 kg drone, equipped with a net, will be used. However, the rescue operation promises to be delicate. No one knows for sure how the animals will react. They might get scared and run away or they might be too exhausted to do so.

The idea is to pick them up one by one and put them to safety. There is another problem, however, the battery can only last 8 minutes. This gives rescuers 4 minutes to try to trap each dog and 4 more minutes of flight time.

Test flights are underway but ultimately it depends on the reactions of the dogs. Rescuers, however, stressed that the drone offered their only real chance of survival.

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