Good drone… bad drone…

Santa may have a hard time deciding what to do with drones in Canada this year.

On one hand, a drone saved three teenage lives in Peterborough, Ontario, on Wednesday afternoon, when the kids got lost in the woods and one of them called their parents in panic.

The city’s police service say they responded to a missing persons report in the area of Century Boulevard in the township south of Peterborough, involving the three teenagers. Apparently, they went for a walk in the woods and could not find their way back.

As if that was not bad enough, one of the kids fell and sprained an ankle.

After receiving and SOS from the concerned parents, the police dispatched their drone, which they had purchased in December last year, to the scan the area.

“The lost teens could hear the drone and were able to call out to the ground search team providing their location,” said Staff Sergeant Dan MacLean told local press.

The kids were rescued, and the one who was injured had nor further trouble apart from the ankle.

On the other hand, though… bad pilot alert.

A Coquitlam County, British Columbia councillor was cycling through a school yard when, out of nowhere, a drone appeared right in front of her and found a mark between her helmet and sunglasses, leaving her concussed.

The drone never bothered to stop and check whether its victim was doing alright; neither did the pilot appear to own up to his negligent piloting skills.

“It stunned me but I kept going,” said councillor Teri Towner. “If I was a half second faster or slower, the whole thing wouldn’t have happened.”

At first she brushed off the incident and went on her way; but when she got to her destination, she began feeling woozy and checked herself into a hospital the next day. The doctor told her she had a concussion and whiplash, whose symptoms have been refusing to go away since.

“I’m still not better,” she said yesterday (Friday, September 18). “It has gotten worse… It was more of a significant blow to the head than I initially thought.”

Now she has been told to avoid looking at screens — an especial bummer in these COVID times when most meetings are being held online – and will have to waiting on exercises until the symptoms pass.

Towner has put up posters in the area around the school in the hopes the man who was flying the drone will come forward.

“It’s not like a rear-ender, where you get out and exchange insurance papers,” she said, adding: “I would like this person to step forward, but I haven’t heard anything.”

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