Press Releases

Drone Fleet Ensures The Safety Of Holidaymakers At Lake Balaton

Budapest, June 26, 2019 10:00

  • The Telekom Rescue Drone Fleet - put in service by the Water Rescue Services of Hungary - improves the efficiency of water rescue efforts.
  • The unmanned aerial vehicles contribute to the safety of lakeside resorts, and in case of emergency, help can get faster to water sports fans on lake Balaton.
  • Using drones in water rescue is an example of how people and technology can work together - for a better world.

On June 15th, 2019, the summer vacations have started, and on the 29th the high season on lake Balaton will arrive. This year, huge crowds are expected at the beaches of our greatest lake. During the summer heat, however, the lakeside does not only deliver the pleasant experiences of water sports to vacationers. Emergencies can occur at any moment, due to the weather or a sudden change in your health conditions – that’s when dedicated colleagues from the Water Rescue Services of Hungary give assistance, this year monitoring safety conditions at 66 bathing resorts around lake Balaton and 13 bathing areas elsewhere.

From today, not only people but also technology will enter into the service of safety, by launching the operation of the Telekom Rescue Drone Fleet at lake Balaton. The drone fleet put in service today, is a pilot project. Based on this season’s experiences, the Water Rescue Services and Telekom are trying to come up with a concept, that could provide complete coverage on lake Balaton and other waterfronts, through exactly defining the number, types of utilized assets, and broadening the service scope.

The cooperation of people and technology for a good cause will be implemented with the professional coordination of the Water Rescue Services of Hungary, on the Telekom Tettek network, and is the result of a special collaboration. The work of water rescue staff, supervising the beaches of lake Balaton, was supported in the project, at a high tefhnical standard, by Telekom through purchasing high value equipment in addition to providing the network infrastructure, and by Duplitec Drone Disztributor Kft., in terms of drone usage and the development and implementation of special devices and applications.

A long preparation lead up to handing over the drone fleet. The 2 DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual heat camera equipped industrial drones will help water recue staff in search and exploration, while the Phantom 4 Advanced professional drone will be at service to deliver life saving equipment. The drones are able to fly up to 5-8 kilometers from launch, should the water rescue staff deem that necessary.

The DJI Phantom 4 drone is able to directly deliver a special, automatically inflated life-saving appliance, called Restube, close to people potentially in danger. The special release mechanism, developed by experts from Duplitec, using 3D printing technology, “drops” the appliance at the right spot to the person in danger. This development and its use is currently being tested.

The DJI Mavic2 drones, thanks to their special communication system and advanced camera, are able to transmit high resolution HD recordings to a distance of up to 8 kilometers, which is a great help in preparing for search and rescue missions and also improves the efficiency of rescue efforts. The drones can browse through areas of reeds, which would be far more complicated using traditional devices. If necessary, recordings/pictures of the drones can be forwarded to the water patrol, or to other emergency services taking part in the mission.

Using the more than 100 decibel loudspeakers, installed on the drones, live instructions, or even encouragement, can be given to people getting into trouble on water - in many emergency situations, even human contact and words of encouragement can indeed save lives. The live feed provided by the drones may help decide whether or not responding to a distress call actually warrants dispatching the boat units: in case of a lot of calls, it is hard to decide whether the person calling in really saw a watercraft in distress or just a floating island of reed.

- The development of technology has reached a level, where these automatic devices can really be of service for saving lives and ensuring safety. Last year, the required drones were still not available on the market. I am very glad that, with the help of Telekom, we can launch this still special novelty project and use state of the art technology in the service of water rescue. This cooperation will put water rescue services in Hungary at the forefront even in international comparison – said Sándor Bagyó, chairman of the Water Rescue Services of Hungary, at the handover ceremony.

„Using the Telekom Tettek network, we will have opportunities, that we can use - with ample determination, creativity and readiness - to even prevent accidents from happening and to save lives. The delights of the digital world, such as the Telekom Rescue Drone Fleet, make the world a better, kinder, easier, safer place for all of us. With the state of the art digital devices and superfast communication networks, today, the only question that remains is whether we are able to use the vast set of opportunities at hand in a smart way. We were glad to support the initiative of the water rescue services, to use digital technology in an area, that was still uncharted in Hungary from this perspective” - explained Béla Attila Szabó, Brand Communications Director of Telekom.