Washington man issued $100k civil penalty for laser strike

0429 blue laser picSeattle, Wash. – A Freeland, Washington man was issued a $100,000 civil penalty for striking a Washington State Ferry with a high-powered blue laser on October 22, 2015.

The United States Coast Guard said in a statement released Friday that the incident resulted in injuries to the ferry master and chief mate.

Captain Joe Raymond, Captain of the Port, Sector Puget Sound said, “Firing a laser at a vessel is extremely dangerous and directly interferes with the safe movement of commercial vessels and the Coast Guard’s ability to conduct search and rescue operations.”

The USCG said laser strikes on ferries, Coast Guard helicopters, and rescue boats operating on the Puget Sound has increased over the last few years.

The Coast Guard reminds the public that laser strikes have adverse impacts on the conduct of Coast Guard operations and can potentially affect the ability of crews to respond to emergency situations, in addition to potentially cause physical injuries.

The final civil penalty amount will be eventually be determined by a Coast Guard Hearing Officer in Arlington, Va.


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