Second time this year unmanned aerial vehicle has gone down in the river

The Marine Corps says an unmanned aerial vehicle went down in the Neuse River today north of Cherry Point.

The RQ-7B Shadow “ditched” at 9:48 a.m., according to a release from Cherry Point’s Joint Public Affairs Office. The Marine Corps defines ditching as a “planned event in which a flight crew knowingly makes a controlled emergency landing in water,” according to the release.

No one was injured and there were no reports of any other property damage in the incident, according to the release. The aircraft has been found and will be recovered.

The UAV is attached to Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2, part of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point. According to the release, squadron personnel were conducting local familiarization flight training when the “mishap” occurred.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, according to the release.

The Shadow is a non-jet aircraft about 11 feet in length with a 14-foot wingspan. It does not carry any weapons and weighs less than 400 pounds. In combat, the UAV is used for reconnaissance and can provide targeting for weapons.

Today’s incident marks the second such incident involving a Cherry Point UAV in 2 1/2 months. On June 24, a UAV crashed into the Neuse River between Carolina Pines and the base. After a week-long search, officials suspended efforts to find the craft, and base officials have not released any information on if it was ever located.