Helicopter Rescue Team Uses Google Maps to Locate Flood Victims

Google has been producing “SearchStories” videos to show the unique ways that people use their services to do beneficial work in the world. As a pilot, this recent upload caught my attention.

Queensland, Australia-based search and rescue pilot Mark Kempton had been dispatched to located and save a family who fled to their rooftop to take refuge from a flash flood. Mark was given a street address for the house, but that data couldn’t be uploaded to his helicopter’s onboard computer. Worse, because of the flooding, it was impossible to determine location visually.

One of Kempton’s crewmembers had an idea. He pulled out his smartphone with Google Maps and entered the street address. The helicopter was low and slow enough that the method worked. Kempton was able to navigate the helicopter to the proper house and conduct a successful rescue operation.

Watch the full video from Google:


About Alex Fitzpatrick

Alex Fitzpatrick is Homepage Editor for Time.com, also covering technology, policy and cybersecurity. He previously covered politics and policy for Mashable. Fitzpatrick has a degree in International Relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo, where he also served as News Director and Station Manager for the campus radio station, 89.3 WGSU. Follow Fitzpatrick on Twitter at @AlexJamesFitz or email him at alex.fitzpatrick@timeinc.com.
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