Recent drone sightings worry Jersey Shore visitors

A series of encounters at the Jersey Shore have recently left several residents worried about drones.

Remote-controlled drones, similar to this one, have been worrying some visitors to the Jersey Shore after recent sightings.

Remote-controlled drones, similar to this one, have been worrying some visitors to the Jersey Shore after recent sightings. (8/31/15)

JERSEY SHORE - A series of encounters at the Jersey Shore have recently left several residents worried about drones.

Last week, a high school football practice in Ocean City was put on hold when a remote-controlled drone flying over the field got too close. The operator remains unidentified.

On Saturday night, patrons of the Light House ice cream shop in Long Branch noticed a drone flying overhead.

"All of a sudden we just looked up at the sky and we saw this flashing thing making these weird buzzing noises," says Gabriella Mandia.

These types of flying crafts are typically used for aerial photography. Many feel this may be an invasion of privacy and think more restrictions need to be in place.

"I think that's just wrong and creepy," says Mandia. "I don't think that should be happening at all."

Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini and the town council passed an ordinance at the beginning of the summer banning drone use over public ocean and bay beaches. Violators face up to a $2,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Mayor Mancini says drone use over private property should also be restricted. "If somebody's flying a drone over my backyard when I'm having a barbecue or something, that's a complete invasion of privacy," he says.

In addition to the most recent incidents, there have been several incidents around New Jersey's airports where pilots have reported seeing drones flying in the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration has rules about where and how high drones can fly. The agency has partnered with other organizations to form the "Know Before You Fly" campaign to better educate the public about drones.

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