Coast Guard training disrupted by laser - KPTV - FOX 12

Coast Guard training disrupted by laser

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DEPOE BAY, OR (KPTV) -

A Coast Guard helicopter crew's training mission near Depoe Bay was disrupted when a green laser hit the cockpit.

Green and red lasers pose a significant hazard to flight and boat crews, especially when the helicopter crews are operating at low altitude at night or the boat crews are battling treacherous conditions.  

The Coast Guard's MH-65D Dolphin Helicopter crew was conducting training on Sept. 12 with a Coast Guard small boat at about 8:30 p.m., when someone directed a green laser at the aircraft from the shore. The crew decided to return to the Coast Guard Air Facility in Newport.

The helicopter crew was not the only crew affected that night.  After illuminating the helicopter, someone pointed the laser at the boat crew on their way back to the station.

Directing a laser at any aircraft is a federal offense. The Federal Aviation Administration reports that laser incidents involving aircraft increased by 902 percent from 2005 to 2011.

The Coast Guard is urging anyone who sees someone point a laser at one of its air or boat crews to call 911.

Anyone with information about the Sept. 12 incident is asked to call the Group/Air Station North Bend command center.

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