Drones act as lifeguards on Costa del sol

Tourists who get into difficulties while swimming off the Costa del Sol this summer may have an unlikely saviour: a lifeguard drone.

The unmanned craft have been fitted with cameras as well as rubber floats, which they can drop into the water to help struggling swimmers — getting there three times faster than the average lifeguard, according to Vodafone One, which has sponsored the project.

“As soon as there is a sighting of someone in difficulty in the water, both the drone and the lifeguard will head towards the sea,” a spokesman for Vodafone One said. “Arriving first, the drone will deliver a lifesaving ring, ­buying valuable time for the lifeguard to reach the swimmer in distress and save a life.”

The initiative will run until September 15 at resorts in Marbella and ­Benalmádena on the Costa del Sol, in Cantabria and Asturias in the north, and Cartagena in eastern Spain.

About 400 swimmers drown in ­Spanish waters every year.

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