Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class David Caudill, a Ketchikan-based machinery technician, throws a heaving line over the side of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium in California Cove, Ketchikan, Alaska, March 11, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Jessica Fontenette)

Coast Guard Seeks Information After Laser Strike Hits Ketchikan Boat Crew

The Coast Guard is seeking information from the public in locating a suspect or suspects who pointed a green laser light at the cabin of a Station Ketchikan boat crew conducting underway operations Saturday night.

The laser strike occurred around 8:45 p.m., while the boat crew transited north in the Tongass Narrows. The point of origin reportedly came from an area near the intersection of Baranof Avenue and Carlanna Lakes Road.

The crew aboard the 45-foot Response Boat-Medium immediately averted their eyes and transited north out of range of the laser. Laser pointers can cause danger to Coast Guard boat crews due to glare, afterimage, flash blindness or temporary loss of night vision.

“Laser strikes jeopardize the safety of our boat crews,” said Capt. Stephen White, commander, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “It is important for the public to understand that using these lasers irresponsibly is dangerous. It not only puts our boat crews at risk, but it also degrades our ability to respond in emergency situations, which means we may not be able to help if a mariner needs us.”

Causing the beam of a laser pointer to strike a vessel operating on the navigable waters of the United States is a felony crime under 46 U.S. Code Section 70014.

Coast Guard Investigative Service agents are working to investigate the incident. Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact investigators at 907-463-2117 or anonymously at CGIS tips: https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=878#.

Read more at USCG

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