During Sunday’s Endure Batavia Triathlon held in Western Australia, a female competitor was taken to the hospital after a being struck in the head by an Unmanned Aerial Vehichle (UAV). The injured athlete, Raija Ogden from Perth, was struck by the drone as she began her second lap and subsequently fell to the ground.
The drone is owned and operated by local videographers New Era Photography and Film, who were covering the event. But according to one report, owner Warren Abrams, suggested Ogden was never actually struck by the drone and simply fell to the ground because she was “frightened” by the proximity of the machine. Citing footage taken just moments before the incident, Abrams said, “She looks over her shoulder and gets frightened, falling to the ground and bumping her head, but the drone didn’t actually strike her.”
But Ogden told a different story: “I have lacerations on my head from the drone and the ambulance crew took a piece of propeller from my head,” she said. “My hair was completely red with blood. I didn’t hit the ground. I sat down because I just thought I was going to pass out.”
After denying that his UAV struck the athlete, Abrams then suggested someone hacked or “channel-hopped” the drone, taking over the controls.
Geraldton Triathlon Club President Simon Teakle, said “we are currently in discussions with the videographers to assess how the incident occurred and the circumstances surrounding the accident. This incident should never have occurred and a full investigation will be conducted in conjunction with the videographers involved.”
In better triathlon news, Ogden’s husband took second place in the event.
Photo: Browning Media