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small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Team Deployments (Second Quarter 2019)

Second Quarter 2019 Statistics for sUAS Team Deployments by the Marin County Sheriff's Office

5/24/2019 – Mission Type: Assisted MCSO Search and Rescue and CA State Parks in search for missing person

Case: 19-1528

Offense: None

The MCSO Search & Rescue Team was assisting California State Parks in the search for a missing subject near the Muir Beach area of Marin County. Due to the vast area that needed to be searched, it was determined the sUAS Team could assist by searching the more treacherous rocky hillsides that were difficult to access by the ground search teams. The sUAS Team conducted a grid pattern search of multiple hill and tree lined areas surrounding where the missing person’s vehicle was located utilizing the UAV. The sUAS Team did not locate the missing person as it was determined during the search that the missing person most likely stole a vehicle nearby and was no longer in the area. 

5/29/19 – Mission Type: Assisted Marin Municipal Water District conduct fire prevention survey and search for illegal diversion of water resources

Case: 19-1563

Offense: None

The Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) requested the assistance of the sUAS Team in an effort to survey multiple canyons to the North and south of power lines located in the area of Bolinas Ridge. The purpose of the mission was to provide real time video and photographs of the area surrounding the power lines to MMWD so they could better determine fire hazards and fire prevention measures. The sUAS Team also assisted checking the same canyons near the power lines for signs of illegal diversion of water resources from MMWD property. Thankfully, we found no illegal diversions on that area of MMWD property.

5/30/19 – Mission Type: Assisted MCSO Patrol division in missing person case

Case: 19-1572

Offense: None

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office Patrol division requested assistance in a missing person case. Through their investigation, MCSO determined the missing person went to Nick’s Cove in Tomales and left the shore in a kayak. The sUAS Team deployed multiple UAVs in an effort to search the area of Hog Island, as well as the part of Tomales Bay and the shoreline surrounding Nick’s Cove for the missing person. Approximately three miles of shoreline, in addition to Hog Island and the water in between were searched with negative results. The missing person’s kayak and other personal items were located by personnel searching the shore, but we were unable to locate the missing person. Several days later, the missing person was discovered deceased in Tomales Bay by a citizen. 

6/26/2019 – Mission Type: Training with the Marin County Fire Department and Tiburon Fire District

Case: 19-1996

Offense: None

The sUAS Team, utilizing a UAV with FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) technology, assisted the Marin County Fire Department and Tiburon Fire District while they conducted wild land fire training using a controlled burn in the area of Old St. Hilary’s Open Space in Tiburon. The purpose of this training exercise was to utilize the UAV and its temperature reading capabilities to assist in monitoring fire activity both during and after the controlled burn. The UAV was able to locate and point out hot spots to fire units on the ground. This training was valuable in understanding both the capabilities of the UAV and also how we can work closely with fire agencies during a fire or other natural disaster.

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