In the past, a missing person’s case involves long periods of searching. Searching for someone on foot can be a complicated endeavor, even with help from other ground units like police dogs or private investigators. For first responders, time is the key factor in solving a missing person’s case. If it goes overnight, if a day passes, or if people would crowd the area, the chances of finding a trail goes down drastically.
For missing people outside urban areas, the best thing to do is to create search parties and manually look over the possible places. This of course can be very time consuming as well. When nighttime comes, it can be especially difficult to search with the naked eye alone.
Even with advances in technology, the best searchers can still use is the common flashlight. This does not prove enough illumination in an area, nor will it make it easier to spot the missing. The scenario goes to overdrive if the missing person gets lost in a dangerous landscape, like a snowy mountain or a desert. Here, temperatures drop dramatically when the sun sets, leaving a little window for responders to find the missing.
If the person spends the night in these areas, the risk for frostbite adds to the already growing risk of dehydration and starvation. Most likely, death would surely follow.
Luckily, today’s search parties and first responders have an ace in their sleeves: drones.
Man Lost in China’s Desert
A man recently went missing in northwest China, where he was presumably lost in the area’s desert sands. The man went missing for over an hour before the report was made to the authorities. It was also noteworthy that the man did not have a water container with him – so the pressure was on. The risk of dehydration was eminent, so responders had to move quickly. The only lead they had was that the man had his phone with him. Signals were sporadic in the area, but it did give enough for responders to know where to start looking.
The foot search proved to be in vain, so a drone owned by the local county’s police department was deployed. The drone had about 30 minutes of flight time at full charge. With it flying in the sky, it proved to be a better chance than going on foot.
This story has a happy conclusion, as they located the man thanks to the drone. It took over an hour of searching via both land and air, and over a mile of ground covered. Once the drone spotted the man, it then led him to the nearest highway, where the responders and his companions met him.