In a little over a minute, a lifeguard supervisor had launched the drone, spotted the boys, flew it over to them, and remotely dropped the flotation device. The boys were able to grab it and swim to shore.
The drone is manufactured by a company called Little Ripper Lifesaver, founded by Kevin Weldon after he witnessed a drone canvassing the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and realized its lifesaving potential. The Marine Pod dropped over Lennox Head contained a water-triggered flotation device, which is repackable and reusable. The company is now testing a saltwater-activated electromagnetic shark repellent device, with plans to include that in future kits.