My whole life, 50 years so far, has been about being useful and of service to others. Up until recently I lived on the south coast of England, and served for a period with Hamble Lifeboat as a volunteer crew member.
Having moved inland - a move that unhappily positioned me as far from the sea as you can get - I began to look for other ways in which I might offer assistance to others. Drone search and rescue really attracted me.
I have self funded all of my training to date and successfully gained permission to fly from the CAA at heights and distances not afforded to hobby flyers. This allows me to get closer to the subject in view.
I am currently registered as a pilot with two organisations that specialise in dog search and rescue - Dog SOS Derbyshire and Drone SAR for Lost Dogs UK. Whilst I have funded two drones that are used for search and rescue purposes, with missing dogs being the primary target, one drawback of the drones is that they do not provide thermal imaging.
As a pilot operating in the National Forest and Peak District, the lack of thermal can be very limiting, particularly where a dog is sheltered or positioned against something of similar or equal colour.
The amount being sought in this raise is not the full cost (being £2,800) as I will fund the balance. As the drone only comes with one battery as standard, any excess funding will be used to purchase additional batteries allowing longer flight and search time.
The drone I am looking to purchase is a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual. This will not only give me the ability to search by thermal, but also by light thanks to it's powerful search light.
Thank you for your time take to read and consider this appeal. If you are a dog owner, I hope that you never have to go through the anguish of a scared and missing loved companion. But be assured that if you do, myself and others like me, stand by to help in the search.
With this drone, I can make that search much more effective, by using the best equipment that I can and increase the chance of success of bringing a missing pet home. Just as I would hope someone would do for me and our girls - Poppy and Amber.