NEWS: Teen angler’s fingers slashed while trying to retrieve illegal drone

A 14-year-old angler visiting Dania Beach Fishing Pier defied local laws to launch a drone to help his fishing efforts, but ended up in hospital when its props slashed his …

A 14-year-old angler visiting Dania Beach Fishing Pier defied local laws to launch a drone to help his fishing efforts, but ended up in hospital when its props slashed his fingers.

Drones are used in fishing to deliver bait far beyond the natural casting range, but they are completely at this location, a popular spot nestled just south of Fort Lauderdale.

Despite visible signage and local advice, the young angler concealed his drone beneath a cooler and launched it into the morning sky, hoping to boost his chances of fishing success.

The damage occurred when he attempted to retrieve the drone. The spinning propellers, designed to soar and hover, became blades of hazard as they lacerated his wrist and fingers. Eyewitnesses described a gruesome scene with “a lot of blood gushing,” prompting immediate first aid response from fellow fishermen who rushed to his aid, fashioning a makeshift tourniquet from his shirt before emergency services arrived.

I took this one while flying my Mavic over the James River in Richmond, VA.  The scenery here was amazing and I got some of the best drone footage I’ve recorded yet.
Drone fishing is gaining popularity but is banned in many places

Paramedics transported the teenager to a nearby hospital, and while his current condition remains undisclosed, the incident has sparked conversations about the use of technology in fishing. The allure of using drones is strong; they can scout vast waters and drop baits in previously unreachable spots, which sounds like a dream for any avid fisherman. However, the ethical implications and safety concerns they raise can’t be ignored. Traditionalists argue that drone fishing might undermine the purity of the sport, turning a skill-based activity into a tech-assisted pursuit, while advocates highlight its potential to revolutionize fishing techniques.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is investigating the incident. Given the boy’s age, the legal repercussions are still being considered. The FAA has been clear about the consequences of irresponsible drone use, noting that unsafe operations that endanger others could lead to fines exceeding $30,000 and even the suspension or revocation of pilot certificates.

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AUTHOR
Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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