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Drowning detection system saves swimmer

Tash Shifrin

A computer-aided detection system has helped lifeguards rescue a teenager  from drowning at a swimming pool in Wales.

The Poseidon drowning detection system was installed at the Bangor pool by Gwynedd County Council more than two years ago to improve safety.

The system, built by Vision IQ, is designed to work alongside human lifeguards. It is a computer vision surveillance system that can recognise texture, volume and movement through a camera network that continually surveys the pool.

A specialised software system analyses the trajectories of swimmers in real time and the system can alert lifeguards to a potential accident within seconds, pinpointing the endangered swimmer’s location.

When a teenage girl sank to the bottom of the deep end at the Bangor pool, the Poseidon system detected her still body and sounded the alarm within three seconds.

The lifeguard then rescued the victim, who was rescusitated and taken to hospital. The elapsed time of the entire incident was 62 seconds.

Rhys Parri, head of the lifelong learning service at Gwynedd council, said, “Thanks to a combination of the highly professional and effective response of council staff and the computer-aided Poseidon detection system, what could have been a far more serious incident was avoided.”


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