A drone operator has come forward to allay fears over the mystery drone hovering above children at Featherston pool during primary school swimming sports events.

Deane Cronin, a contract cameraman and drone operator, said he used his drone once outside the fenceline to photograph the combined schools event, as his children were taking part.

He has since supplied images to St Teresa's School, who organised the event, and has spoken to police yesterday.

On Friday the Featherston Facebook community page issued a warning to parents about a drone flying over the pool during sports competitions and swimming club meets, in situations involving children.


Peter Jackson, the page's administrator, urged parents to contact police if they saw the drone.

St Teresa's School principal Jennifer Muth said she has now met Mr Cronin and said his coming forward was "a really good outcome".

"It's about having good communication, about knowing why someone was doing it, using that technology."

Mr Cronin said he is a registered drone operator and is upset if someone else is filming over the pool with a drone on other occasions, which the Facebook page suggested.

"I'm a parent, my daughter goes to swimming sports."

He said he was standing outside the swimming pool and used his drone's GoPro camera to capture wide-angle views. He did not fly over the pool, and the public should "be completely alarmed" if that was happening.

At the time, the only person who knew what he was doing was "myself and my children".

"The whole purpose of taking photographs was to support the community," he said.


He said there were plenty of parents taking photographs at ground level, and he can't be responsible for people assuming the worst.

"Quite frankly, when I'm standing on a road, flying over public facilities, there's nobody to communicate to. I'm taking my photographs in public, if you can't identify anyone in the picture, what's the issue?

"I register my flights, I'm known to the police.

"I'm standing up and being accountable for just one occasion.

"If there's been other flights, there's someone else out there."

He said his children have been upset by the comments on Facebook.