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L.A. County lifeguards test rescue robot in Malibu

May 24, 2012 |  9:18 pm

Remote-controlled lifeguard vehicle
Los Angeles County lifeguards are testing a robot rescue craft that would save struggling swimmers, officials said Thursday.

The remote-controlled rescue robot zips through the surf to reach stranded swimmers, who can then use the machine as as a flotation device until lifeguards reach the area, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

Lifeguards have been conducting mock rescues in the surf at Zuma Beach. 

The robot is named "Emily," after Emily Rose Shane, 13, who was killed in 2010 after being struck by a car on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Emily was a friend of the robot designer's daughter, officials said.

Additional testing is needed before the rescue robot will be seen on local beaches.

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-- Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: Lifeguard rescue robot. Credit: Los Angeles County Fire Department

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