A YouTube account that goes by DaveSvorking uploaded a video of a man jumping into a lake to save a drone descending into water. According to the video’s description, the drone’s battery died midflight, which means the UAV reached a dangerously low battery level, so auto landing was initiated to keep the aircraft from dropping straight from the sky. At the beginning of the video, the pilot and another male ran across a bridge with eyes on the drone. Since the drone was on its way to hitting the water, the pilot ditched his gear, ran towards the drone in shallow water, swam the rest of the way and hand caught the UAV just in the nick of time. The whole video plus a slow motion playback can be seen here:
If this man was one second late, his drone would have plunged to its death. Some drones are built to be water resistant, but submerging a nonwaterproofed UAV into salt water is a sure way to end up with an expensive paper weight or a fancy wall decoration.
This video can be used as a reminder or warning to show the dangers of flying over water with a low battery. It’s unclear if winds were an issue for the pilot in the “EPIC Drone save over water” video, but a few pilots have flown far out over a body of water and ran into trouble flying back because of headwinds limiting the drone’s flight speed.