Drones in the Yachting Industry
Over the years, drones have crept their way further into the Superyachting industry. Drones provide a platform to capture epic moments out at sea. Whether it’s following the jet skis, or capturing aerial footage of these beautiful vessels. Drones have been used to create holiday highlights videos for guests onboard, or for promotional marketing material for Superyachts that are for sale or for charter.
Personally, I am a hobby photographer and I have my own DJI Mini 2 drone, so I know the basics of flying a drone. However, I was always slightly unsure about the regulations around flying even such a small drone. My week with Eagle Eye Innovations provided a lot of insight into the rules and regulations around aviation. It also just opened my mind to things I should be looking out for, what the dangers are and what the regulations are aimed toward.
While on the course I learnt a great deal more about the capabilities of the latest drones. I started to learn about and think forward about all the possible applications for drones within the Superyachting industry. I knew that drones were useful for aerial photography and videography, but what I didn’t think about was how drones could be used to enhance the guest experience and yachting operations as well as safety.
Oftentimes in my yachting career we have had to perform a reconnaissance or ‘recce’ mission. For example, we may be looking for a dock to drop guests off near a remote beach. We can’t find any docks on the charts, but we know the charts are not that reliable in this area. Therefore we have had to launch a boat and scout the area for the most suitable drop-off location. With the use of a drone we could fly into a bay and scout for a suitable drop off location, saving hours of work.
Safety is paramount within the maritime industry, and even more so when you are dealing with ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The wealthiest people in the world, in my experience, do not hold back on their safety budget. Superyachts often have the latest and greatest safety equipment. I believe in the coming years drones could play a role in safety onboard.
I learnt about drones that are being used to deliver life-rings to swimmers pulled out to sea in rip currents. In the maritime industry a man overboard (MOB) is one of the most serious safety issues. If someone falls off the boat, it becomes extremely difficult to rescue them. In mild seas you will lose sight of a MOB within minutes. You would have to perform a Williamson turn, get back on your track and start a search pattern, this could take hours.
With the use of a drone, with a thermal imaging camera, you would be able to take-off and search over a very large area within minutes. Not only would it be a lot easier to find the MOB, but once you do you could deliver a life ring or other buoyancy aid. This sort of technology could save lives.
– Tyrin, Zeta Drone Training – South