Drone interferes with rescue - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Drone interferes with rescue

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Drone interferes with rescue Drone interferes with rescue
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

On February 12th, the Coeur d'Alene Police Department as well as several other local agencies including the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, responded to the call of a suicidal male in the lake Coeur d'Alene near independence point. The shirtless man spent several hours in the water while officers tried to talk him. A tense situation made more exhausting due to the intrusion of a drone.

"We have no idea who was driving it, but it was circling down in the area and distracting the officers," says Sergeant Christie Wood with the Coeur d'Alene Police Department.

Wood says instead of officers focusing their attention on helping this man, they were instead trying to keep an eye on the drone to make sure it didn't get in the way.

"It's not like if someone was standing too close to the scene, we can tell those people to back up," says Wood. "With a drone, we have no way of contacting that person to say 'could you please move it out of the way'."

The UAV operator did not break any laws. The only legislation in Idaho concerning drones states that drones can not be used to conduct surveillance or take photographs of "targeted people" or of private property. Wood told KHQ with how fast technology advances she anticipates more run-ins with private drones in the future. She just hopes operators will use them with caution and common sense.

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