On land or sea, night vision technology enables search and rescue teams to locate people or animals in distress without wasting valuable hours waiting for daylight. Night vision technology enables rescuers to see farther and wider than even the most high powered search lights. Thermal devices are especially helpful in search and rescue situations as they provide visibility not only in total darkness but in smoke, fog, dust, rain, and even dense foliage, as the heat signature of living things will be visible even in forest/wilderness areas.