The Emergency Planning Department of the Police Directorate purchased an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone) in 2017, based on recommendations made by the Maritime Coastguard Agency in the Search & Rescue Review of St Helena (see photos attached).

The drone is capable of running a standard viewing camera as well as a Thermal Imaging camera, capturing data in both video and picture formats.

The type of drone operated by the Emergency Planning Department is a 'Yuneec International Typhoon H', which has a 10-20 minute flight-time, depending on the type of camera used.

Over the last year, the Emergency Planning team has run a number of training exercises to ensure pilots are fully capable of operating the drone safely. They have also operated the drone in a number of real operations, from gaining footage of rock outcrop that posed a risk to life, to investigating a maritime wreckage.

St Helena Police have also made use of the drone on two occasions � once to search for a missing person in order to preserve and protect that person's life, and the other to prevent and detect crime. When used to prevent and detect crime, the authority of a Senior Officer is needed to use the drone.

The drone has proven to be a very useful search & rescue tool and has reduced the risk to the public and Emergency Services.

Source: St Helena Government

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