New drone device could prevent drownings - CBS46 News

New drone device could prevent drownings

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COBB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Imagine being able to save the life of someone drowning in a matter of seconds. A new drone device being introduced all across the country is making that a reality.

It's called Ryptide.

"With just a click of the button, the life ring hits the water and inflates automatically," said creator Bill Piedra.

Once it inflates, a 200 lb. person can stay afloat for up to 24 hours.

"We can deliver the life preserver out over the water in less than 20 seconds," said Piedra. "The idea is to keep a person floating until a lifeguard or first responder can get to them."

Georgia native Wesley Pelfrey is no stranger to the Chattahoochee river, or its strong currents.

"That river's going to take you under, the undercurrent is what gets you...you don't see it but its there," said Pelfrey.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, from 2012-2013, there were 22 drowning deaths in Cobb County, 23 in Fulton County and 28 in Gwinnett County. In total, 73 people drowned in a matter of three years.

We asked metro Atlanta swift-water rescue teams if they'd consider Ryptide, but they knew nothing about the life-saving technology.

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