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Coast Guard helicopter responding to distress call hit by laser

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 07:01 a.m. HST, Nov 27, 2013

The Coast Guard said one of its helicopters was hit by a green laser while flying in the vicinity of Waimanalo Bay Saturday.

It's the fifth lasing incident within the last year involving Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.

The lased MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was conducting a search in response to a distress call when the incident occurred, the Coast Guard said.

Four crewmembers observed the laser sweeping the aircraft and one of the pilots was struck directly.

The Coast Guard is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Honolulu Police Department to investigate the incident.

Laser pointers can cause glare, afterimage, flash blindness or temporary loss of night vision.

The Coast Guard said it is a federal crime, as well as violation of most states' laws, to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft. If an individual is caught purposefully lasing an aircraft, punishment ranges from being arrested or having to pay a civil penalty of $11,000 for a single offense, to more than $30,000 if the individual has multiple offenses.

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Numilalocal wrote:
Whoever's doing this - well I hope that YOU never need the Coast Guard. Karma is alive and well!
on November 26,2013 | 04:34PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
For those hooligans who do this, what they need corporal punishment. These criminals don't have the money to pay the fine so they will not be punished pr deterred from future violations with fines. Imprisonment is too wasteful and should be reserved for more serious crimes. The Singapore method used on vandals is best I think.
on November 26,2013 | 04:52PM
TigerEye wrote:
Is there some special punishment for NCOs that's especially severe...?
on November 27,2013 | 07:46AM
Pocho wrote:
If I was the Pilot of the helicopter I'd return to base. One day something bad will happen, not only vision interuptions but bullets. How would you like someone putting a target on you
on November 26,2013 | 06:02PM
rigormortis wrote:
The helicopter should shoot back at the source, just to show them how accurately they can be pinpointed. Bet you no one would target an armed helicopter in a war zone.
on November 26,2013 | 06:07PM
Canefire wrote:
fly higher
on November 26,2013 | 09:04PM
Jerry_D wrote:
A couple weeks ago, a kayaker was stranded in the waters off Kaena Point...and the only way searchers found him was because he happened to have been carrying a green laser, which he shined in the skies towards the search vessels (that were miles inshore). Could it be that the person making this distress call was also using a green laser to help searchers find him/her?
on November 27,2013 | 12:40AM
krusha wrote:
I'm thinking it's more a resident who doesn't like the noise of the aircraft bothering them...
on November 27,2013 | 05:39AM
mrluke wrote:
Yeah, "bothered" by someone attempting a rescue!
on November 27,2013 | 07:07AM
juscasting wrote:
Last time I checked a flare gun was the recommended item in your emergency kit and not a laser pointer? So, the LP's are water proof now?
on November 27,2013 | 10:58AM
entrkn wrote:
Aiming lasers at anyone, especially flying aircraft, has to be viewed as a major crime and the penalties must be far more draconian than are now.
on November 27,2013 | 09:20AM
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