Reunions
Stranger follows instinct about boy missing with his dog and uses drone to find “bright spot”
The local police department is now looking into adopting this simple technology to save lives in the future.
Cherie Gozon
08.09.21

Steve Fines is an aerial photographer who uses his drone camera for his work.

YouTube Screenshot|KARE 11
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|KARE 11

His drone camera does not only capture scenic beauties from above. It is equipped with thermal technology, allowing it to pick up heat, which he also uses for another business to use thermal imaging to inspect the roofs and windows of commercial buildings.

Little did he know that his camera also has another purpose: save a boy’s life.

YouTube Screenshot|Fox 9 Minneapolis-St.Paul
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Fox 9 Minneapolis-St.Paul

It was a cold October day when the Sherburne Country Sheriff received a report of a missing boy named Ethan Haus. It was said that he ran out of the house after school to play with his dog, Remmie. Hours later, he was nowhere to be found.

Steve saw the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department Twitter post calling on volunteers to help.

YouTube Screenshot|Teledyne FLIR
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Teledyne FLIR

Steve lives 15 minutes away from the area, so he went out to help. He brought his thermal drone camera with him knowing that it would be a helpful tool in their search. Other residents nearby also gathered for a search party to cover more ground.

The search went on for hours.

Out north of Becker, Mn with hundreds of folks looking for a missing 6 year old boy. Using a drone with a thermal…

Posted by Fines Aerial Imaging, LLC onTuesday, October 15, 2019

It was getting dark, and the temperature was dropping to 30 degrees. Time was of the essence because there’s a little boy and a dog who are cold and hungry somewhere out there.

Steve’s thermal camera captured the volunteer’s search path.

With this information and the help of the search team, they narrowed down the possible areas where they could find the boy. Steve flew his drone in swampy areas where volunteers might find it challenging to go.

Hours later, Steve saw the light in the middle of that darkness.

YouTube Screenshot|KARE 11
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|KARE 11

Around 1:30 am, the search team found small footprints in a cornfield.

Steve immediately flew his camera into the area, and his thermal camera detected the movement of both Ethan and his dog. The photo above shows the thermal imaging when the search team finally found Ethan.

Steve and his camera saved the day.

YouTube Screenshot|Fox 9 Minneapolis-St.Paul
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Fox 9 Minneapolis-St.Paul

They found the boy looking cold but was completely unharmed. His dog Remmie was safe as well. He was returned home safe and sound.

The sheriff’s department was thankful for Steve’s efforts and hoped that technology like this could be used in their department.

While Steve got most of the credit, he shared that it was definitely a team effort.

He posted on his Facebook page that he couldn’t have done it without the rescuers and the coordination of the Sherburne County Sheriff.

With that, he said: “There were 600 of us that night.”

The country sheriff’s page also posted their letter of acknowledgment to thank the volunteers.

Ethan’s mother, Sheri Haus, also shared a video of her little boy saying thanks.

That sweet smile shows that he is okay and has recovered from the incident. Steve also said that he is not yet used to all the praises he earned from that night.

He would often drive by around town getting a thumbs up or wave from people.

But the sweetest treat?

He, the Haus family, and Remmie were invited to fly to Los Angeles to share their story in The Kelly Clarkson show.

Fame and recognition aside, we can agree that Steve and all the volunteers deserve all the praise for that night.

Learn more about how Steve and his drone help rescue Ethan and his pup in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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