Droning The Suez Canal Gets Ship Detained
” Scandinavian P&I Club Gard has warned its members on the dangers of using drones at sea.
A vessel entered with Gard was recently detained following the launch of a drone to photograph the vessel proceeding through the Suez Canal.
Shortly after the drone had been launched from a vessel transiting the Suez Canal, the master was requested by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to drop anchor. During the SCA’s subsequent inspection, they confiscated the drone and its memory card and the vessel was detained in anticipation of further investigations by the Egyptian authorities.
There are currently no common or international rules governing the use of drones. According to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), basic national safety rules apply but these differ from one country to another. Nevertheless, just like any other aircraft, a drone must always be flown in a safe manner, both with respect to other aircraft in the air and also to people and property on the ground.
“ [W]hile the initial purpose of the latest drone technology is to do good, they have also been used for illegal purposes and many countries fear that drones can be used by terrorists, e.g. as weapons. Hence, although the intention when launching the drone was simply to document the vessel proceeding through the Suez Canal, this ‘innocent act’ may have been considered a threat to national security by the Egyptian military forces,” Gard said in a release.”