MV Tokitae (credit: Washington State Dept. of Transportation)
“Laser strikes” have been a known hazard for airline and helicopter pilots for years now, and errant users of high-powered laser pointers are increasingly being prosecuted.
The newest pilots to be hit by such a laser were not in the air but at sea. Washington State Ferry officials told Seattle’s KOMO TV station that two men in their twenties pointed a blue laser at the Tokitae ferry as it approached the Clinton Ferry Terminal on Whidbey Island, about 30 miles north of Seattle.
The two captains were in separate wheelhouses, at opposite ends of the 350-foot ship, when they were hit. The chief mate, who was piloting the vessel at the time, was struck first.
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