A Derry rescue charity has received a donation of almost ￡40,000 to upgrade some of its life-saving equipment.
Foyle Search and Rescue (FSR) will upgrade its drone equipment following a ￡39,000 donation from supporters in the local video games industry.
The drones play a key role in the work of the local rescue team.
The donation has allowed Foyle Search and Rescue to purchase six new drones of varying cost and capabilities, alongside necessary supplementary equipment such as additional batteries.
The flagship drone has been named ‘Delta November 1’ in honour of the late Danny Nelis, co-founder of the FSR drone/UAV program.
The donation comprises equal contributions from local video game developer Hypixel Studios, parent company Riot Games Social Impact fund, the owners of the Hypixel Minecraft server, Hypixel Studios CEO Aaron Donaghey, and an anonymous donor.
Mr Donaghy has also joined the FSR drone team as a volunteer.
FSR chairman, Pat Carlin, said they were very appreciative of this donation.
“This new fleet of drones will allow us to expand our search and rescue capabilities as the drone team are now able to deploy at night time and in heavy rain or wind thanks to weatherproofing and high end thermal cameras,” he said.
Sean McCafferty, Chief Operating Officer of Hypixel Studios, said: “As locals, we’re hugely supportive of the important work that Foyle Search and Rescue do and happy for this opportunity to help them expand their capabilities.”
Jeffrey Burrell, Director of Social Impact at Riot Games, said there were proud to support this important program for the local charity.
“We know that it will make a meaningful and long-lasting impact for the community.
“We encourage anyone, anywhere to reach out to a professional or to seek help and resources if they continually feel down and that something is just not right.
Speaking about the naming of the flagship drone, Paul Smith, Foyle Search and Rescue Drone Team Coordinator, said: “As the other co-founder of the drone team and speaking with the blessing of Danny’s family, we feel that naming the drone after his call sign is a fitting tribute.
“Together we set up the project five years ago and the drone program continues on as part of his legacy going from strength to strength. Danny will always be remembered at the charity.”