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Genius crashes drone into Yellowstone hot spring, asks to retrieve it

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Maybe don’t do this on your next vacation: a tourist flouting a drone ban in the park crashed his device into a 200-foot-deep hot spring.

According to CNN, the tourist approached park staff after he crashed his drone into the Grand Prismatic Spring on Saturday, asking if it was possible to recover it from the spring, which is the world’s third largest and has a temperature of 170 degrees Farenheit.

A spokesperson for the park service said the unidentified tourist, who appeared to be unaware of the drone ban, was permitted to leave. She added that Yellowstone has not yet determined if the drone created any damage to the hot spring.

California’s Yosemite National Park announced a ban on unmanned aircraft in May, which the National Park Service followed with a blanket nation-wide ban the following month.

The bans came after a series of reported incidents, including a drone crashing in the Grand Canyon, and tourists using drones to harass big horn sheep in Utah. Drone advocates, however, have accused the Park Service of a knee-jerk response, and pointed out that the machines — many of which weigh under five pounds — offer opportunities for unique photography and for scientific research.

Meanwhile, other high-profile incidents involving drones — including this assault at the beach — have led to growing questions about how to regulate them. To see how this applies to you, see our informal guide about what the law says.

51 Responses to “Genius crashes drone into Yellowstone hot spring, asks to retrieve it”

  1. Robert Elwell

    Nothing wrong with having a drone area, as funny as it sounds they do tie string to drones when learning to fly them, maybe they should do the same in some parks.
    Drones are here to stay and both parties should be more open.

  2. The lazy ass should of just climbed the hill next to it to get a better look. Or better yet they should of just let him retrieve it. He was probably stupid enough to try.

  3. Rainforest Bear

    Ignorant of the rules before you go to a national park? No one’s problem but your own! I would have told the guy he could go into the area to get it, but he would have to dive into the 170-degree water only after he provided proof of his ability to pay for his own body retrieval and funeral.

  4. bcbackpackers

    Technology and nature has gotten out of hand. Why can’t people just go outside and enjoy it? I for one, would like to admire the scenery without being disturbed by a bunch of flying objects bent on getting that photograph that the user thinks is so special (until of course, 50 other people show up with a drone and get the same shot.)

  5. I think it should be retrieved, then present the recovery cost to the idiot to pay. The government would spend big $ doing it. Then make sure its all over the media on how much it is costing the jerk. Great deterrent.

  6. Larry Brown

    In relation to another article on recovery of this fools item. Use a dirigible tethered outside of the area. Then with a remote submersible device lowered from the dirigible, locate and hook the offending item and remove it from the pool. Then their wouldn’t be collateral damage to the very delicate mineral deposits surrounding the pool. This way no more “foot-print damage” will be made to the area.

  7. People with no respect for others will always claim that they are the injured party. I didn’t go to YNP to hear drones obliterate my hearing. OUTLAW THEM AND JAIL THE PERP.

  8. I agree that they should have fined that guy, and made him cover the cost of what ever it takes to repair any damage or keep the damage from getting worse. But the idea that we should take away everybodies right to enjoy the park or just take away peoples right to enjoyment is STUPID and WRONG. Just because you feel that hiking and watching is fun enough doesn’t mean other people enjoy that or can do that. Their are individuals that think humans should not interfere with nature just let it run wild. If we ran everything like they thought, you wouldn’t be able to enter a national park.
    Let people live there lives and enjoy things how they want. Just make the individuals that cause problems be held accountable so when other think about doing something stupid they will think twice about doing it.
    Blanket rules do nothing but keep or society from progressing and causes us all to be a little dumber.

  9. The arrogance / ignorance of people today is amazing, I swear, everyday I see instances of people assuming they are they only ones at (insert event/place here) with no regard to others around them.
    Come on people, get a clue!

  10. A. Rodriguez

    The moron or “genius” if you prefer, should be fined for polluting the park and its pristine nature attractions. Better yet, have him dive for his toy in 170 degree Farenheit water and then confiscate the drone and issue a fine. Those who sympathize with this “genius” should also dive in the the scalding water pool. Just because crap crashes all the time does not make this well. Maybe if it crashes on your head you may reconsider. You are just an ignorant and irreverent puke; not an American Patriot.

    • Jack Spratt

      A. Rodriguez, if that’s your real name, you were hitting all the right buttons there for a while. But then you ended on a personal and snide note, causing your good remarks to be lost, or as they say, ‘it simply took the wind out of your sails’. You know, a lot like that Drone Thingy that took a dip in the Yellowstone Hot Tub! It seems that people who can afford these new ‘Aviation Spying Toys’ also think that they can, like the CIA, NSA, DOJ, and the entire Obama Administration, ignore ‘the other laws of the land’ as well. That obvious disrespect for authority from the highest levels of Government can, over time, lead to many other abuses In our society. There are obviously people who disagree with the ban of DRONES in public areas. And rightly so, but you can bet your ‘sweet bippie that should they become involved in ‘an invasion of their privacy’ by one of these ‘Spy Toys’ you definitely will hear them loud and clear. Jack Spratt

  11. Shut all these intrusive jerks down!!! The last thing I want to hear or see when i’m in a national park, is some machine flying around. If there’s research to be done, it can be regulated and done by scientists, not some idiot without a clue. Stupid jerk, I hope they fine him!!!!

  12. Ignorant tourists in national parks. They’re either getting themselves stuck, hurt or killed or they’re destroying something. They should just do everyone a favor and stay home.

  13. This isn’t a mere “get over it” kind of crash. That pool is one of the wonders of nature, a national gem (Mr Patriot). The decomposing/rusting material of that drone could significantly harm the pool. That’s why there are rules in places like this.

  14. No Drones in Parks

    People are not allowed to fly drones in national parks. So why was this person not fined for flying a drone in a national park? Why was this person not fined for leaving trash in a national park? If I were the park ranger, this person would have received two tickets and a lecture.

  15. Uh, how about at least a fine for littering? If you or I dropped a candy bar wrapper or threw a beer bottle into a hot spring that would probably be a $1000 fine. And since when was ignorance of the law (or ignorance generally) an excuse for breaking the law in national parks?

    • Rann Xeroxx

      So I guess National Parks should just have no rules whatsoever because they should just “get over it”. Want to shoot a bison, why not, they die all the time, get over it. Want to toss your garbage bag full of food trash to the bears, bears eat trash all the time, get over it.

      Wow, you’re a real piece of work.

        • Gene Cox

          Yeah great idea arrest all the idiots. That makes even better sense then “just get over it”. Why not just fill up all of our prisons with recreational pot users and idiots that way when we go up for re-election at least the majority of the population won’t be able to vote because they will all be felons and soon enough we can completely control the people of America. Way to go Jennifer brilliant idea (sarcasism alert)!!

    • William E Hardy

      And so we should simply accept that any one individual has the right to A) illegally fly his drone in a National Park, and B) potentially destroy one of it’s irreplaceable features?
      Perhaps it’s simply you are painfully unaware of the fragility of Yellowstone – or maybe just don’t care.

    • It is not a question of civilians flying drones as they are just remote controlled aircraft which civilians have been flying long before they were called drones. The issue is whether it is okay to use them everywhere. I do think it is a big deal that this hot-spring that is enjoyed by millions and should be enjoyed for the next 1000 years or more could potentially be altered by the selfish act of a tourist. National parks exist for the public good and at times what one individual wants to do will have to take a back seat to what is good for the whole.