A drink-driver had a lucky escape after a car crash, when a police drone found him lying unconscious and hypothermic in a ditch.
Liam Collins, 28, was found 175 yards away from his crashed car by a drone piloted by Lincolnshire Police, after a concerned bystander witnessed him staggering away from the scene of the accident on the A16 near Ludborough.
The moment our #thermal#drone found a hypothermic man in a 6' deep ditch 160m from his crashed car in the pitch dark tonight. Casualty conveyed to hospital. Thanks to @WoldsSgt for the request that may well have saved his life. pic.twitter.com/LwrPnBVj6H— Lincs Police Drones (@lincsCOPter) February 25, 2018
See also: How police spot a drink-driver
Collins was discovered in time to save him from hypothermia, which was setting in quickly due to the freezing conditions. His luck wasn't all good, though, as once discharged from the hospital he was given a breath test and found to be over the drink-drive limit.
Footage released by the force on Twitter shows thermal imagery of the rescue. The man and officers can be seen by their body heat. Without the drone's thermal camera, police were faced with searching in the pitch dark and in freezing temperatures.
Sergeant Mike Templeman said: "We did extensive searches, but obviously we are very rural and it was very dark so you're limited in what you can see.
"The man was unresponsive and hypothermic when we found him.
"Without the drone this search could have taken much longer. It possibly saved a man's life."
The drone team praised the quick thinking of the officer who phoned them in, known as @WoldsSgt or 'Tempo' on Twitter. They tweeted: "Thanks to @WoldsSgt for the request that may well have saved his life."