Weirdness from above: Miss. drone reportedly drops boat anchor on victim

drone drops anchor

Okay, any way you slice it, this story is really weird. News reports in Mississippi say a woman was struck and injured by a decorative boat anchor dropped on her by a drone in what was not an isolated incident. How could that ever be a thing?

According a report by Mississippi television channel WLOX, a 20-year-old woman was struck by the hand-size, cast-iron anchor outside her family’s home in the city of Gautier at about 7:30 p.m. Monday evening. The victim and her sister-in-law were just standing around on their lawn when a drone flew above them and dropped the decorative hunk of metal, which is said to have weighed nearly half a pound. 

According to one of the women, Serenity Smith, the air-dropped anchor broke her sister-in-law’s arm, requiring a trip to the hospital. It also shattered the screen of her smartphone, which will presumably involve a repair. As sanity-challenging as the notion is, it’s supposedly not the first time a UAV has bombs-awayed in Gautier.

According to Smith, the anchor-strike was the fourth time an object was unleashed by a drone on the property. Within the last month, she assures, three glass objects were dropped from above the house. Such activity, and the wider story, prompted Reddit r/nottheonion commentator SixIsNotANumber to reasonably inquire, “What. The Actual. F….” 

Although Smith is not quoted as identifying the bombardier as a drone – which both women would have presumably heard, if not seen, as it approached and hovered – local police seem to have no doubts about a UAV being the aerial object of interest in the case.

“They can vary from small, miniature drones that a small child could play with up into, you know, your $20,000 or higher-end drones that can carry bigger objects,” said Sergeant James McGhee. “This can be a danger when you’re dropping objects that can possibly injure residents and things in the area. So, we are taking it seriously because it could cause serious bodily injuries.”

“Could?” the broken-armed victim presumably thought upon hearing that.

But if a drone is atop the suspect list in the case, Gautier’s constabulary isn’t jumping to any conclusions about motive – or even considering the dropping of bone- (and phone-) breaking half-pound decorative cast-iron boat anchors on people from on high a necessarily willful act.

“If we can prove that it was intentional, then it does become a crime,” McGhee said. “It could be a prank. It could be something that they’re intentionally doing to injure people. So, we don’t want to take that chance of that being a problem in the community.”

Until the case is solved, nighttime will be a fair bit nervier in sleepy old Gautier.

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