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Florida Swimmers Scared Out of Water In Stunning Drone Image

Florida Swimmers Scared Out of Water In Stunning Drone Image

Drones often give us a new perspective, but a Florida dad was stunned to see what his DJI Mavic 2 Pro captured while he was recording his children swimming in shallow waters.

Flying his drone above New Smyrna Beach off the central east coast of the Sunshine State, Dan Watson noticed a large black shadow approaching the area where his children were swimming. The professional photographer forgot about his camera gear for the moment and immediately shouted to his children and two other nearby swimmers to get out of the water. 

While the swimmers scrambled out of the water, the shark appeared to turn away, as seen in the second photo of Watson's Instagram Post. All five retreated safely from the water, while the shark swam off without incident. 

Watson says in his Instagram post that the encounter was "definitely too close of an encounter for my liking!" and noted that he'll probably be towing along his Mavic 2 with him on all future visits to the beach. 

Some Instagram users noted that the drone would make a great addition to the safety measures employed by lifeguards, and Watson's photos make a compelling case. Battery life and flight times might make such a venture cost-prohibitive, particularly given the relative rarity of shark attacks on swimmers, but it's the kind of idea that sounds like it could happen someday. 

Do you think beach safety crews should employ the use of drones to keep swimmers safe? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think. 

Brian Pernicone's picture

Brian Pernicone grew up admiring the coastal waters of New England and that influence is evident in much of his work, which focuses primarily on coastal landscapes, boats, New England wildlife, and water sports.

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You don't need a drone to travel anywhere in this scenario. If DJI modified the power supply to take like a 500-foot cord up with it so it wouldn't have to land, you could solve the battery issue.

I don’t think a small drone could handle the payload of a wire weight. However since we are on the topic, by the thousands, more people drown in oceans because lifeguards can’t get to poor swimmers locations fast enough... and a drone that could drop a float would be an incredible development. Less than 200 deaths have been recorded by sharks all time to humans ever. You are so much significantly more likely to drown than to be attacked by a shark
It’s unreal.

This is actually a thing, and is being used in Australia. If I remember correctly, whilst they were just testing it out and learning to fly and deploy, they had an emergency down beach, and go to use it for real. I'll see if I can find an article.

Globally there are only between 50 and 85 or so unprovoked shark attacks per year. BILLIONS of people visit a beach each year. In the great big scheme of things the danger posed by sharks is so tiny that it doesn't even register as a blip. Even in the case above it is highly unlikely that the kids were ever in any danger. Even with the shark beside them, statistically, the danger of drowning is far higher than getting eaten. Not saying to avoid being cautious but I'd say it is would be a bit insane to start deploying fleets of drones to monitor shallows for dark shapes.

If u r one of the 50-85 I bet u wished a drone had been flying above. I’ll invest $$$ in the drone industry and use the profits to travel/photograph.

Y'all gotta take a minute and subscribe to Sally & Dan Watson's YouTube channel because they're awesome.

I have to agree with Ryan Cooper because sharks are so unlikely to attack a human. The one thing I will say is this sure sounds like helicopter parenting to me

I'm not sure if that was a pun or not.

Drones are already being used for shark watch and lifesaving on some Australian beaches.


My ex told me I was a menace to society, maybe someone ought to “drone me”

Just look over your right shoulder when you leave your home. Do you see it?

As a surfer and a photographer this article makes my brain hurt. If you’re worried about animals being in the water, stay your ass in a pool. 150 people are killed by falling coconuts each year; are you monitoring these murderous trees ?!?!

Keep your drones away from the beach if you plan on keeping people safe. “Safe” only means you’ll be finding new ways to alter a place we’ve already done too much to ruin.

Why not go old school and use a simple balloon tethered of course. Increase the battery for the camera and make it easy and quick to replace.

Sure, attacks are rare, but are we seriously arguing for indifference to the prospect of a rare attack on kids?

The Mini-me Megalodon...

File this under "People being alarmed by things that have always been there, but they never noticed".

How will the economy be impacted?