File photo of a drone, this is used by the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff ‘ s Department.
(AP Photo/Mesa County Sheriff’s Unmanned Operations Team, File)
A 92-year-old hunter in Virginia had to spend a cold night in the woods, but he is safe now thanks to the quick work of a drone. Bill McDonnell went on the hunt Saturday in Shenandoah County, and his family notified authorities when he hadn’t came out of the woods that night, reports the Washington Post.
The workers had a general feeling of where he was thanks to a phone call he had made for his family, but a search involving helicopters and foot patrols were fruitless by the night.
Enter the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, which the search-and-rescue team arrived at the site of the Sunday morning, sent a relatively new drone to 9:30 pm, and McDonnell, a distance of just 20 minutes later.
Rescuers on foot found him and guided him back to safety, and he is fine. “Suddenly, it’s dark on me,” he explains.
“I couldn’t see my hands in front of my face. I couldn’t go forward, I couldn’t go backwards, I couldn’t go left, I could not go to the right or one place. It was worse than the jungle.” If WJLA comments, McDonnell is a second world War veteran who spent his share of nights sleeping outside during the war.
Temperatures dipped into the 20s Saturday night, but McDonnell had dressed warmly, packed food, and made himself a bed in the twigs and leaves. He adds that his son to promise him not to go hunting alone anymore.
The Post offers another nugget: The drone is only the sixth place in the nation, which flies in the Project Lifesaver program is a special antenna designed to find people with medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease that wearing a specific wristband.
In this case, however, McDonnell was not a participant in this program. (A study of pit drones against ambulances, and there was a clear winner.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: After People Fail, Drone Spots Lost to Hunter in 20 Minutes