In Depth

Thermal-imaging drone helps police make miraculous recovery of man in ditch

Lincolnshire driver saved from hypothermia by quick-thinking emergency services

drone.jpg

A man who crashed his car in freezing night-time temperatures in Lincolnshire was saved from hypothermia when he was found by a police thermal-imaging drone.

The man “was discovered in a deep ditch, 500ft (160m) away from his car on the A16 near Ludborough, Lincolnshire,” says the BBC.

Police arrived at 2am after a member of the public found the car overturned and called the emergency services. The witness said he saw the the driver walking away from his vehicle when he arrived at the scene.

“Desperate to find the driver of the car, Lincolnshire Police used their drone, equipped with thermal imagining, to search the scene as officers from Humberside Police searched by foot,” says the Grimsby Telegraph.

In footage released by the police, the drone locates the man due to his body heat. One police officer is then seen walking towards the man being directed by the drone pilot. 

Police said the quick response may have saved the man’s life as he was at risk of hypothermia due to the freezing conditions. “He was taken to hospital and is thought to be recovering from his ordeal,” adds the Grimsby Telegraph.

Sgt Mike Templeman told the BBC the man was found “unresponsive and hypothermic”.

After the incident he tweeted: “Great result & life possibly saved!” after a ground search had failed to find the man.

Sgt Templeman told the broadcaster: “We didn't know if this male had been picked up, [or] if he had carried on walking.”

“We did extensive searches in the [police] vehicles, obviously we are very rural and it was very dark so you're limited in what you can see.”

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