Wednesday, December 2, 2015
US Coast Guard Helos Hit by Laser Strikes
U.S. Coast Guard MH-65s in Florida and Washington state were hit in flight by laser beams Nov. 30, according to various news sources. At about 8:30 p.m. local time, the crew of an Airbus Helicopters Dolphin reported being targeted by a laser from the ground while flying near Lake Okeechobee, Florida; the crew is based at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan. About an hour later, another Dolphin crew reported being hit while flying over Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles (on Washington’s northern shore), forcing an abort of their training mission and return to CGAS Port Angeles. Coast Guard and law enforcement officials are investigating. “If the crew had been on their way to a search and rescue case, they would have had to come back,” a Coast Guard official told KING-TV news in Seattle. “So it is more than just the lives on board. It can take other lives as well.” The helicopter crews underwent medical evaluations; no injuries were reported.