Tourist Crashes Drone Into Yellowstone's Prized Spring
National Park Service isn't sure if geothermal basin is damaged
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2014 12:17 PM CDT
Updated Aug 10, 2014 8:13 AM CDT
A drone crashed into Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park over the weekend.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It's been a rough summer for Yellowstone. First, one of the national park's roads was closed in July because it was melting—now a tourist trying to score some pictures with his drone has accidentally crashed it into one of the area's most famous hot springs, reports Reuters. It's unclear whether Grand Prismatic Spring—the third-largest hot spring in the world, according to the Yellowstone website—was damaged in the accident last Saturday. The tourist was the one who reported the crash, asking a park employee if it would be possible to retrieve it, notes CNN.

Visitors have complained of an increase in low-flying drones at Yellowstone, a park spokesman tells Reuters, even though the National Park Service banned "unmanned aerial vehicles" in June. A drone slammed into a marina at Yellowstone Lake earlier this summer, and Grand Teton National Park has also been riddled with the remote-controlled robots. Now park officials have to weigh whether it's worth it to dig out this downed drone from the 121-foot-deep Grand Prismatic, possibly marring the hot spring, or just to let the machine rest in peace in the multicolored bacterial waters. "What we have to determine is whether (it) poses a threat to that unique resource," the park spokesman tells Reuters. (In New York last month, a man was arrested for filming windows of medical rooms with his drone.)

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Showing 3 of 97 comments
Gueorgui Gueorguiev
Aug 10, 2014 7:32 PM CDT
We are going into uncharted territory with the drones . The capabilities of the next generations are going to be even greater . And inevitably comes to mind the question , how are they going to be used , for fun or up to no good ? The line between them could be razor thin , example . Someone takes his/her drone to the forest and uses it to take video of majestic Sequoia trees and that is it , but what if in the same video he/she hoovers the drone next to Bald Eagle nest and causes the Eagle to abandon his chicks ? And this is obviously just a one example of good/bad use of drones .
Boz O'Clown
Aug 8, 2014 8:11 AM CDT
"officials have to weigh whether it's worth it to dig out this downed drone" Send in another drone. Seriously: I like UAVs. The FPV thing is great. Wonderful aerial videos. But, people, keep them out of the parks and away from the attendees.
amersham46
Aug 8, 2014 12:15 AM CDT
One must remember, there is no law against stupid