Sheriff’s Dept Uses Newly Acquired Drone To Locate Stranded Boaters
” An Algona man and his 10-year-old granddaughter were rescued from the Des Moines River north of Algona Wednesday night after a drone was used to locate the stranded boaters.
The boater, Thomas Fitzpatrick, a former Kossuth County sheriff’s deputy, and his granddaughter had been dropped off at the Plum Creek Dam north of Algona about 5:30 p.m. and were to meet family members at the Veterans Park boat ramp a few hours later.
The family contacted the Algona Police Department at 10:22 p.m. The stranded boaters had encountered a logjam and were not sure where they were.
A sheriff’s deputy was able to contact Fitzpatrick by cell phone and drove along River Road, triggering his siren until Fitzpatrick indicated he could hear the siren.
While this was happening, another deputy deployed a DJI Phantom 4 Drone which had just been purchased by the sheriff’s office in May. Once the drone was in the air, it took only 3½ minutes to find the stranded boaters.”