Drone, Twitter combine to rescue NC flood victim


HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WNCN) — Emergency personnel aren’t the only ones helping with rescues during Hurricane Matthew. A man and his dog were saved from his flooded house with the help of a drone — and Twitter.

It started as a normal Saturday morning for Chris Williams.

“I’m watching my tablet, and next thing you know it sounds like someone kicked in my door. So, I go and look, and it’s just water pouring in.”

The entire neighborhood was flooded and images of the flooding hit Twitter.

As water started pouring into his house, Williams and his dog made their way upstairs to a second floor window.

“Rescue had failed because my area was inaccessible, so one of the last things I saw on my phone was my brother like, ‘Hey, at least you’re not this guy,’” Williams recalled. “It was my house. So, I’m like, ‘Haha Craig, that’s really funny.’ He’s like what? ‘That’s my house, dude.’”

But the images also showed a man nearby who was filming with a drone. Williams’ brother told the man who Williams needed to be rescued.

“I was still flying my drone around and I happened to see a boat off in the distance so I flew it over there, distracted these guys and I said, ‘Hey, we need some help over here,’” the man, Quavas Hart, recalled. “We were standing on a shore. By that time, we were able to flag him down and lead them right up to the house where they were trapped at.”

Williams recalled, “Next thing I know, I look out my window and I hear ‘brrrrr’ and I saw a quadicopter kinda going back and forth, and I’m like oh, alright, it’s drone guy, got it.”

Both of them said they were surprised by the rescue.

“I never thought to this day, I’d be using my drone to save a life,” Hart said.

“It’s crazy, because, like, 911 didn’t work, like, everything we tried didn’t work, one of my friends is a firefighter and he’s like, ‘Sorry bro, we can’t come get you.’ But we got with a drone, and found a boat, got it here, so it worked out.”