Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue to use robotic lifeguards this summer

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue team will deploy four robotic lifeguards this summer.

The City of Myrtle Beach reports the fire department is purchasing four remote-controlled robotic lifeguards to get help to drowning victims and swimmers in distress faster. The robot, named Emily, is approximately four feet long and will be stationed along the beach during swim season, the city reports.

Emily stands for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard. The Emily robots are approximately 20 pounds and will be used by lifeguards and beach safety personnel to get to swimmers faster than another human could offer help.

The remote-controlled lifeguards can be operated nearly one-half mile from shore, reports CNN, and with 80 pounds of buoyancy, one robot can support four to five people in the water. It takes only seconds to get Emily deployed, whereas getting a human to someone in danger could take minutes – time that’s not available in life or death situations.

The robots were purchased with assistance from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, but city officials have not commented on the expense of each Emily unit.

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