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.