Channelside drone mystery solved

Imagine looking out the window of your high-rise apartment and seeing a drone fly by. 
 
It happened in Channelside late Tuesday afternoon. 
 
“It hovered for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then it flew out by that old ship yard area,” said Mike Hammonds, who lives in The Towers. 
 
Hammonds caught the unmanned aircraft on his camera. 
 
“My first thought was someone bought a miniature drone and was taking photos of people in their building. Then I thought it was Amazon,” Hammonds said.
 
Others called Tampa Police Department.
 
“It was good to see a quick response time, but it also tells me whatever was going on was not necessarily authorized by the police,” Hammonds said.
 
We’ve learned the drone was filming a promotional video for the Florida Aquarium. Aquarium spokeswoman Katherine Claytor assures it meant no harm. 
 
“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that we caused them. It was definitely not our intent. Our intent was to get a visual image of the aquarium,” said Claytor. 
 
And those visuals are going to be used to showcase improvements made to the building. 
 
To ease security concerns, Claytor said, the aquarium contacted the Tampa Port Authority next door. 
 
“The video is going to come to us from the company that filmed it. We are going to send all that footage to the port first before we use anything,” said Claytor. 
 
What’s still up in the air is if the camera filmed Hammonds. His biggest concern is privacy. 
 
“What kind of photos were taken? What kind of privacy is lost now?” Hammonds said.
 
The Federal Aviation Administration regulates unmanned aircrafts. There is a do’s and don’ts list for people using drones as a hobby here .
 
Right now the FAA is looking into whether the drone flown at the aquarium was operating legally or not. 
Print this article Back to Top

Comments