Police in northern China’s Qingdao saved a woman from drowning in sea by using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) yesterday.
At about 8:45am yesterday, a police detachment in Qingdao received calls for help, with a woman being swept by sea waves away from shores of the city — popular among tourists for its seaside resorts and stunning view.
The female tourist, when having fun with a buoy near the shoreline, was caught by waves and swept into the sea.
When police arrived on the scene, the women was already 500 meters from the shore and drifting further away.
Police officers operated a ROV to approach the struggling woman, in an attempt to push her back ashore, but due to surging tides and gales, she failed to grab the ROV.
Only after a police officer swam closer to the woman and tied her to the ROV, was she able to make it back to the shore.
The successful rescue mission is the result of a decision by Qingdao’s coastal police squads to acquire more than 30 ROVs, with a unit for each police station.
Every police officer went through a period of training to learn to operate the device in rescue operation.
The rescue operation yesterday is the first time the city’ coastal police have used the ROV in a real-world scenario.
ROV resembles a speed boat and starts the propellers once in water. It guides itself with a navigation system. Operators can control the device from afar to reach a drowning person and bring him or her back ashore.
Using this type of gadget also reduces the risk for police officers or rescuers to be caught and endangered by a struggling person in water.