Drones fall into Perth’s Swan River during Christmas City of Light Show

Perth residents have taken to social media to share their shock over a bizarre sight they witnessed at a Christmas light show over the Swan River.

Thousands flocked to the Swan River waterfront overnight to watch 500 lit-up drones dance across the city skyline as part of the City of Light Christmas show.

But the glittering spectacle over Elizabeth Quay soon took a turn when onlookers began to notice specks of light falling from the sky.

Vision of the event shows the drones forming various Christmas-themed shapes and messages over the night sky before plummeting into the water below.

“See ya,” one person can be heard saying as the expensive equipment falls.

Drone Sky Show managing director Joshua Van Ross admitted he was devastated by the malfunction.

“I did cry a little bit last night, I am trying not to think about it … but it was an expensive show for us,” he told WA Today.

With 50 drones now floating in the Swan River – each costing about $2000 – the loss is estimated to be about $100,000.

An internal investigation is under way to figure out what happened, with GPS interference among the possible causes.

“If there is any wind interference drones do hit each other, that does happen, propellers snap, there are things that go wrong … two to three drones (falling) per show is actually normal … last night was not normal,” Mr Van Ross said.

An exclusion zone of 120m between the drones and onlookers meant that no one was in danger during the technology failure.

Divers were on Monday attempting to retrieve the devices.

People took to social media to share their reactions to the spectacle.

“Gosh imagine if they were placed over a crowd of people,” one Facebook user wrote.

“Oops … forgot to charge them …,” another person joked.

Some said they preferred more traditional light displays and pleaded to bring back fireworks.

“Booooo bring back fire works more off a spectacle,” one user commented.

“Drones are a bit boring. Only lights, fireworks way better … Sounds, smell and a good show,” another said.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas has confirmed that ratepayers will not have to foot the bill for the light show.

All future planned shows have been postponed until an incident review has been completed.

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