Green Laser Halts U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Training in Bellingham

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium based at Station Bellingham is taken for a test drive by Representative Rick Larsen during a Coast Guard Station Bellingham open house. (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan W. Bradshaw)
A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium based at Station Bellingham is taken for a test drive by Representative Rick Larsen during a Coast Guard Station Bellingham open house. (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan W. Bradshaw)

BELLINGHAM — Someone shining a green laser at a U.S. Coast Guard boat caused the crew to cancel its scheduled air-sea rescue training Wednesday night, April 20.

The 45-foot Response Boat Medium was motoring past Boulevard Park around 8:30 p.m. when crew members saw a green laser light shining on them, according to the Coast Guard.

No one was hurt, but the Coast Guard is cautious around lasers — especially green lasers — because they can cause severe and permanent damage to the eye. The boat returned to the station in Squalicum Harbor and a backup crew was called in to stand watch, so the affected crew could be checked for any vision problems.

The boat and its crew had been en route to train for air-sea rescues with a helicopter based out of Port Angeles, said Petty Officer First Class Levi Read. The typical crew size for the 45-foot boat is four or five sailors, though Read didn't know how many were on board Wednesday night.

According to the Coast Guard, local police and harbor security searched in an area around Boulevard Park for signs of someone with a laser, but couldn't find a source.

Anyone with tips can contact the local Coast Guard station at 360-734-1692.

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