Tags: South Padre Island | Spring Break | Monitor | Drones

South Padre Island Spring Break to Be Monitored By Drones

Image: South Padre Island Spring Break to Be Monitored By Drones
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 10 Mar 2016 01:26 PM

Spring break destination beaches at South Padre Island, Texas, will have drone patrols to monitor college revelers hovering at 125 feet — just beyond the height someone can "realistically chuck a can of beer," The Washington Post reports.

South Padre Island town spokesman Gary Ainsworth tells the newspaper that officials expect as many as 75,000 college students to flood into the barrier-island town that has less than 3,000 permanent residents.

Drones, he says, can monitor the revelry from above at what has been estimated a safe distance — for the robots.

"That's just something you have to expect when you have that many people letting loose on a beach and they notice a robot hovering over them," Ainsworth tells the Post. "I probably would have tried to knock one out of the sky with a beer can when I was in college."

The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 model drones — fitted with high-resolution cameras and batteries that provide up to 25 minutes of flight time — are the latest tool in the local arsenal to deal with the spring break surge, the Post reports.

"It gives us a bird's-eye view that we wouldn't have before," he tells the Post. "If you have an incident in a large crowd and you're sending two officers into the middle of it, they're vastly outnumbered, and that's before they have any idea of what's going on."

"In the event a drunk college student decides he wants to run, we could use a drone to follow him instead of sending an officer to climb on the roof," Ainsworth adds.

He says police also hope to use the technology to rescue swimmers.

"You can hook up a life jacket to a drone and drop it to somebody who is in the water," he tells the Post. "We're working on that."

Although police departments across the country have been using drones for years, South Padre Island appears to be the first major domestic spring break destination to do so, the Post reports.


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Spring break destination beaches at South Padre Island, Texas, will have drone patrols to monitor college revelers hovering at 125 feet - just beyond the height someone can "realistically chuck a can of beer," The Washington Post reports.
South Padre Island, Spring Break, Monitor, Drones
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2016-26-10
Thursday, 10 Mar 2016 01:26 PM
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