Last week Vancouver’s VodaSafe donated an AquaEye®, the world’s first hand-held scanning sonar device for water-based search and rescue, to Whistler Search and Rescue.
The AquaEye unit will be used to help Whistler Fire’s firefighters and Whistler Search and Rescue rescue and recover missing persons from Whistler’s bodies of water.
“Our first-of-its-kind technology is helping search and rescue groups across North America reduce harm in their communities,” said Carlyn Loncaric, Founder and CEO of VodaSafe. “As a Vancouver-based business, we’re thrilled to see the technology being implemented in Whistler where it can help local families affected by water accidents.”
The hand-held sonar device uses the latest ultrasound and artificial intelligence technologies to provide record-breaking water rescue response. AquaEye is specifically designed to be portable, durable, and easy to use for emergency response teams to aid in the rescue and recovery of missing persons.
AquaEye’s ultrasound and artificial intelligence technologies are unparalleled with the ability to conduct a 360 degree scan in as little as 3-5 minutes with a search area coverage of 85,000 square feet or nearly two acres. AquaEye® is providing first-of-its-kind technology to search and rescue teams, fire departments, police forces, summer camps, dive teams and other water-related groups across North America.
“It’s incredibly difficult to locate people under the water in Whistler’s lakes and rivers, which are rich in minerals that make our water opaque,” said Chris Nelson, Deputy Fire Chief, Whistler Fire. “Our hope is that AquaEye will help Whistler Search and Rescue and Whistler Fire find people under water within minutes so that we can resuscitate them and reduce harm to Whistler community members and visitors. We are grateful to GFL Environment for donating the device to our community.”
Whistler Fire and Whistler Search and Rescue will be trained on AquaEye use in a series of training sessions over the holiday season delivered by VodaSafe. The AquaEye will be used in Whistler as of late January 2021 for water accidents through the year.