Drone Photographer Uses Thermal Camera to Help Find Boy Lost in Woods


Drones don’t get a lot of good press but this story is a nice change of pace.

A drone photographer in Minnesota helped locate a boy lost in the woods using a thermal camera attached to the UAV. Located in Sherburne County, it was imperative that the missing child be located as soon as possible due to the seasonally chilly nights in the state.

Covered by KARE 11 News, the story of Ethan Haus’ rescus is shining a light on one of the many positive aspects of drones and UAVs in general. The six-year-old became lost, along with his dog, in the Clear Lake region and the search eventually involved some 600 people according to PetaPixel.

As night fell and still no sign of Ethan, the team turned to the novel use of photographer Steve Fines’ DJI m210RTK v2 with an XT2 thermal camera. Fines became part of the search team at 9:30 PM and eventually located what he thought was a boy and a dog at about 1:40 AM. As rescuers approached the area highlighted by Fines’ drone, the photographer was able to watch the whole operation play out through his thermal camera.

Hailed as a hero, Fines said on social media:

“While I was running the camera that found him […] I only knew in which direction to look because volunteers on the ground had found a footprint that pointed me in the right direction. I knew which areas had already been searched because of the excellent coordination of the Sherburne County Sheriff. I had other volunteers running radios to coordinate ground search parties – the people moving across really rough ground to find him.

There were 600 of us that found Ethan that night.”

You can check out some of his photography on his website and social media pages (Facebook and Instagram).

As usual, we’d love to know what you think about this story. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

And don’t forget to check out our other photography news articles on Light Stalking by clicking here.


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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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