A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat-Medium patrols Auke Bay during an exercise in 2018. A response boat similar to the one in the photo was struck by a laser near Ketchikan on Saturday, Jan. 17, prompting an investigation into the crime. (Lt. Brian Dykens / U.S. Coast Guard)

A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat-Medium patrols Auke Bay during an exercise in 2018. A response boat similar to the one in the photo was struck by a laser near Ketchikan on Saturday, Jan. 17, prompting an investigation into the crime. (Lt. Brian Dykens / U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard wants information after laser pointed at boat

“Laser strikes jeopardize the safety of our boat crews…”

The Coast Guard Investigation Service is looking to shine a light on a suspect or suspects after a Coast Guard patrol craft had a green laser pointed at it in Ketchikan Saturday evening.

The boat crew of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium was underway when they a laser was pointed at the vessel from near the intersection of Baranof Avenue and Carlanna Lakes Road, the Coast Guard announced.

The crew immediately moved to protect their vision and exited the area upon having the green laser light pointed at the boat, the Coast Guard said in a news release. Ocular exposure to lasers can cause glare, afterimages, flashblindness and loss of night vision, all of which are impediments to the crew’s ability to operate safely and to protect others, according to the Coast Guard. Pointing a laser light at a vessel underway on navigable waters is a felony offense.

“Laser strikes jeopardize the safety of our boat crews,” said Capt. Stephen White, commander of Coast Guard Sector Juneau, in the news release. “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.”

Know something?

Contact Coast Guard Investigation Service agents at 907-463-2117 or anonymously at CGIS tips: https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=878#.

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