Coastguard and mountain rescue teams reported a close encounter with a drone as a helicopter attended a serious medical emergency.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency was called out to Red Pike on Sunday to deal with a serious medical emergency and they winched the man onto the aircraft and took him to hospital.
While the casualty was being winched, team members spotted a drone in the air on the opposite side of the valley.
Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team could only estimate the likely location of the aircraft. The mountain rescue team said no one came to harm due to the drone but that things could have been much worse.
“A drone could easily get smashed by the rotors (and would still require an urgent landing) or worse still, it might get sucked into a helicopter’s air intake, resulting in (at best) an emergency landing and a delay for a seriously ill casualty, or potentially causing a crash landing or worse,” said a statement from the mountain rescue team.
“As it happened, the helicopter’s planned exit route from our location took them directly towards the location where the drone was spotted, and it caused significant concern to all involved.
“The sensible thing to do, even if the helicopter is on the other side of the valley, is to land your drone as soon as possible, as the aircraft’s planned flight path might take them in your general direction. Only for the quick thinking and 20/20 vision of yesterday’s volunteers, we might have had a bigger disaster to deal with.”
The statement went on to say: “We should emphasise that we are not anti-drone, and we know that the majority of operators are careful and considerate. Even some team members are drone enthusiasts. That said, it is essential that folk fly within the Civil Aviation Authority guidelines.
“Please be careful when there are aircraft nearby, and follow the CAA guidance, especially Article 240 – endangering safety of an aircraft: ‘A person must not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person in an aircraft.'”
The footage below was taken on a mobile phone.