A drone aided in the rescue of two boys who were stranded on a rock in a fast-moving Maine river.

The two boys got stuck on a rock near Mechanic Falls while trying to tube in the high waters. One boy had a life jacket on, but the other did not.

Luckily, Auburn Fire Chief Frank Roma just so happened to have a drone with him, and he cleverly decided to use the device to send the boys an extra life jacket before responders rescued them.

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Officials also used the drone as an aerial observation instrument during the rescue.

Roma was on “Fox and Friends” this morning, where he said that the ability of drones is “pretty incredible.”

Watch his interview above. See video footage and photos below, via the Auburn Fire Department’s Facebook page.


The AFD responded to assist Mechanic Falls with a swift water rescue. Also on location was the Poland FD, Oxford FD, Maine Game Wardens, Mechanic Falls PD and Androscoggin County Sheriffs Dept. Two young people had become trapped on a rock in the middle the river while trying to tube in the high water. One had a life jacket, the other did not. As rescue lines were set up down stream and a haul system was configured to allow for an inflatable rescue boat to be placed into the water to effect rescue of the two trapped young men, the AFD utilized a drone to fly out a tag line to the young man with no life jacket. He was instructed in how to untie the line from the drone and then pull a life jacket to him. You can see him doing so in this video. This technical rescue went very well and is an excellent example of inter agency cooperation and the benefits of training for these demanding events.

Posted by Auburn Fire Department on Tuesday, June 30, 2015