Question Area 1:  Is there a need or is this a made-up fantasy?

The questions that follow try to gauge what is needed, if anything, that drones can or might be able to do.

* 1. If drones (quadcopters, etc.) can get out to endangered people in the water faster, is it of interest?

* 2. Drones will not replace lifeguards.  Period.  Nothing can.  But if drones and their handlers could handle beach winds, carry lifesaving equipment and calm endangered swimmers or boaters, could they become as common as the whistle, the orange ring buoy or the surfboard?

* 3. If drones can eventually be able to
  • Automatically fly themselves 10 feet over the water to a certain location
  • Record audio and video hands-free
  • Broadcast messages to swimmers directly below them like "You are entering a rip tide! ┬áReturn to shore!"
  • Drop lifesaving gear up to half a mile away
  • Fly pre-planned routes themselves automatically at┬ácertain altitudes, linger and look around for X seconds, then move on to the next location and repeat
  • At the flick of switch, fly themselves to their home base and land.
What else would you want them to do in a water-safety application?