OCEAN RIDGE, Fla. — A U.S. military target drone washed ashore Friday on the beach at Ocean Ridge Hammock Park in Ocean Ridge, Florida.
The drone was discovered Friday morning by a passerby on the north end of the beach, Ocean Ridge Police Chief Hal Hutchins said.
"The item is a drone from the U.S. Air Force," Hutchins said.
Hutchins said police followed the instructions on the drone for what to do if it was found.
Police closed off the area while they waited for the Air Force to reclaim it.
"As long as it's out here, we'll be out here with it," Hutchins said. "But, as you can see, it is safe for people to be around. We've assured everyone that it is safe. We've been assured by the sheriff's office and the Air Force that there is no danger to anyone going near it."
The drone was eventually removed from the beach and towed to the Boynton Beach Inlet.
The Air Force drone has been removed from the beach. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/wUF4hdyDQW— Miranda Christian (@MirandaWPTV) March 19, 2021
Air Force 1st Lt. Savanah Bray said the target drone was used for training with the 53rd Wing out of Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City. Bray said the drones are typically retrieved from the water after trainees shoot them down, but this one happened to wash ashore.
Just spoke with someone with the Air Force who says this is a training drone with the 53rd Wing. Usually they will find these drones in the water, this time it washed ashore. https://t.co/EXTceLE2j5— Miranda Christian (@MirandaWPTV) March 19, 2021
"It's not quite as random as you might think," Bray said in a telephone interview. "There's nothing dangerous in it, nothing concerning. Like I said, we recover these on a regular basis and sometimes we're just unable to."
This article was written by Peter Burke and Miranda Christian for WPTV.