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

Photo by Lorcel/Shutterstock

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.

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