Local drone pilot flying to help in the Caribbean after Irma - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local drone pilot flying to help in the Caribbean after Irma

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Before lashing Florida, Hurricane Irma devastated islands in the Caribbean. 

Monday night a local drone pilot was flying out to help with the relief efforts there. 

Drew Goodwin is taking his technology to some of the areas hit hardest by Irma. 

His first step is to get to Puerto Rico. 

"Once I get there I'll decide how and where I can move forward, whether at Saint Martin, St. Thomas, maybe Saint Croix or one of the islands where I can catch a ride somehow," said Goodwin. 

He's taking with him two drones capable of assisting rescuers. 

"Sending a drone in first is easy because you can get an idea of 'ok, don't go this way' or 'go that way because it safer," said Goodwin. "There are a lot of things that we can hopefully assist with."  

His ultimate goal is to get to Saint Martin, an area devastated by strong winds and flooding. 

The Dutch and French military brought in supplies and rescue workers to help calm the situation over the weekend. 

Goodwin hopes his drones can assist in the recovery. 

"I can print maps in the field," he said. "I can livestream video to different places and that's our plan when we get there: we'll see where we're needed and go digging from there." 

Goodwin's non-profit Emergency Response Drones was most recently launched in Scripps Ranch. 

There he helped cover steep terrain in the search for missing senior Tai Sun. 

"I can prove that one person can go and make a difference and that is how you change things," said Goodwin. "I don't ask for anything in return and I'm not getting paid to go. All I'm asking is that somebody else, the next person help the next person."  

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