Laser strike interrupts Coast Guard training operation

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Two Coast Guard helicopter crews were targeted by a person using a green laser pointer near Richmond Hill, Ga., on Monday evening.

No crewmembers aboard either helicopter were injured.

The helicopter crews, based out of Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, were performing training when they noticed a green laser trying to track their flight path. Both aircraft attempted to maneuver to avoid a direct laser strike but, despite their efforts, were still hit by the laser.

The mission was aborted and both aircraft returned to base with no further incidents or damage to the aircraft.

Air Station Savannah is working with local authorities and the Federal Aviation Administration to identify the responsible parties and prevent future incidents. The investigation, coupled with the initial aircrew reports, has helped authorities narrow down the area from which the laser originated.

“Aircraft lasing is a serious problem that aircrews face, unfortunately, all too often,” said Cmdr. Louie Parks, executive officer of Air Station Savannah. “These incidents not only interrupt critical training and operations, they put our crewmembers’ lives in serious danger.”