The decision is not exactly what Ocracokers were expecting. Because of budget cuts, the NPS is unable to fund conventional lifeguards. However, new technology will allow the Park to use UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, aka "drones"). Drones have already been tested in Iran, and have been employed successfully as airborne lifeguards, locating distressed swimmers using thermal cameras and dropping life preservers to swimmers.
The good news is that drones are not only less expensive than human lifeguards, but they can be employed for longer periods and can patrol larger areas. Visiting teenagers will surely be less enthusiastic with the decision, however!
Click on the photo below (or on this link: http://rtsideas.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=7:pars-test-at-caspian-sea&Itemid=468&lang=en) to read more about the Iranian company that developed the battery powered drone lifeguards.
|Drone Lifeguard on the Caspian Sea|
For more information about the use of drones in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, please click here.