Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats were launched on Thursday afternoon , following a Coast Guard pager alert to investigate reports of an aircraft in difficulties off the Wicklow coast.
The initial report was of a light aircraft ditching into the sea near the Six-mile point. As the lifeboats were approaching the search area, more information was received from the Coast Guard, and it turned out the plane was a large, unmanned drone being flown in the area and had crashed into the sea.
Weather conditions in the area were calm with good visibility. The inshore lifeboat crew located the badly damaged drone floating a mile off Newcastle beach, it was towed ashore and handed over to the owner.
Speaking after the callout, Tommy Dover, Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This was a very quick response by our volunteer crew this afternoon to what could have been a potentially serious incident. If you find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’