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Rovers revel in new drone for enhanced search and rescue

Rovers Ground Search and Rescue members Paul French (left) and Robin Murray hold the Rovers’ new DJI Matric 210 RTK UAV drone Wednesday at the group’s headquarters in Paradise.
Rovers Ground Search and Rescue members Paul French (left) and Robin Murray hold the Rovers’ new DJI Matric 210 RTK UAV drone Wednesday at the group’s headquarters in Paradise. - Joe Gibbons
PARADISE, N.L. —

Rovers Ground Search and Rescue members Paul French (left) and Robin Murray underwent rigorous training programs and are certified by Transport Canada to operate the Rovers’ new DJI Matric 210 RTK UAV drone.

The Rovers began their fundraising initiative in June 2018 to raise $57,000 to purchase the drone, and with many corporate, individual and various levels of governments onboard, they raised almost $80,000 and bought the drone, with some add-ons, earlier this year.

Rovers team co-ordinator and retired St. John’s Regional Fire Department firefighter Harry Blackmore said the unit has capacity for two daytime cameras as well as an infrared camera for nighttime use, and excels in environments affected by electrical interference such as transmission lines, hydro substations and cellular towers, and is rated to fly in wet environments, sub-zero temperatures and above-moderate wind speeds.

Blackmore said the drone will enable the Rovers to maximize the utilization resources and ultimately reduce the amount of time a person is lost or missing.

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