The Coast Guard Investigative Service is looking into three laser strikes that occurred in the last three weeks, two of which occurred within 24 hours of each other on Monday. The Coast Guard has also issued a warning reminding people that aiming lasers at its boats and aircraft is illegal and carries a penalty of up to $250,000 or five years in prison.
The first strike occurred in early May, when someone aimed a laser at a Coast Guard cutter that was inspecting a recreational boat around the Venetian Causeway in Miami. The next occurred when an 87-foot patrol boat was struck near Sanibel Island, Florida with a green laser. That same night, an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter was also struck with a green laser coming from one mile south of Punta Salina, Puerto Rico.
Petty Officer Mark Barney told, “Chances are they are not trying to do anything malicious. But doing it to someone’s face is always dangerous, especially when that person is piloting an aircraft.” A person runs the risk of being charged with a felony whether they intended to hit a helicopter with their laser pointer or not.
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