How to fly drones safely at sea

One of our favorite places to fly drones is over the sea. You might be surprised by this and perhaps your even worried about flying your drone over water but rest assured it’s one of the safest places to fly.

There’s generally more risk during take off and landing as the best way to do this from a boat is by hand launching but there’s ways to increase safety. Here’s our top tips for flying over water and or taking off from vessels.

  1. Plan your flights carefully. You don’t want to be caught short and run out of battery. Give yourself a battery buffer and land with plenty of juice left in the tank. This will enable you to land without rushing which will inevitably increase the risk of an accident occurring. Depending on the weather conditions we land at between 30-60% battery life.

  2. Practice hand launching & catching on dry land before heading out to sea. Be confident and sure you can undertake this safely on dry land before attempting it on a moving platform.

  3. Turn off all the sensors on the drone. The last thing you want is the drone fighting to take off when your trying to hand catch it!

  4. It’s hard to judge distances out at sea. Be extra vigilant. Talking about distances, ensure you remove your distance limit and set return to home to hover. This way your drone wont try returning home to a location your no longer at!

  5. Be wary of marine traffic and laws. Communication is key to successful flights. Brief, brief and brief again. Check everyone’s understanding and proceed with caution.

  6. R-E-L-A-X & trust in the skills you’ve perfected on dry land enabling you to fly safely & efficiently.

  7. Consider wearing PPE to appropriately safeguard yourself from the drones propellers.

  8. Learn your camera settings. Be sure to use an ND filter to correctly expose your image for film and ensure it’s removed for photos to get the best results.

  9. Weather conditions can change quick. Be sure to pay close attention to both the current weather and forecast.

  10. The Drone Code still applies.

  11. Hire us!

  12. If there’s doubt there’s no doubt. Ultimately the remote pilot is responsible for undertaking the flight safely. You have to be confident you can before taking to the skies.

  13. Communication with the vessel drive and crew is key to a successful flight. Run through your flight plans and ensure everyone is aware of the emergency procedures.