The Baywatch TV series may be in reruns, but it seems that we can now all participate in dramatic beach rescues courtesy of digital technology.
In Germany today (BBC reports), a person watching a beautiful sunset via a webcam spotted camera flashes out in the icy sea and alerted the authorities. It turns out that a man drifting out to sea in freezing temperatures had the presence to use his camera flash as an emergency beacon and was luckily spotted via a webcam setup to look out into the sea. A fortunate rescue ensued and a man’s life was saved because of web technology.
As usual when there is crossover from digital/social life into the real world, this may have curious implications in the area of public safety. Is it that much of a stretch to have crowd sourced neighborhood watches or street traffic updates and enforcement. Surely many interesting developments of this kind will follow.