Medical Attention for Coast Guard After Devil’s Playground Laser Incident

The following is a press release from the United States Coast Guard:

Coast Guard (2)MCKINLEYVILLE, CA – A Coast Guard helicopter flying over Eureka was targeted by an individual with a laser yesterday evening.

The MH-65D helicopter crew was conducting routine training near Eureka, CA when the incident occurred. The laser originated in the area behind Walmart commonly referred to as Devil’s Playground and shined directly in the eyes of one crewmember. The aircraft returned to the Arcata Airport to allow the crewman proper medical attention after he reported pain in both eyes. In order to protect the health and safety of the crew any aircrew struck by a laser is taken off flight duty until cleared by a flight surgeon. This hinders the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to people in distress.

Laser pointers can cause glare, afterimage, flash blindness or temporary loss of night vision, all causing great danger to the crew. If a laser is shined in the eyes of an aircrew member, Coast Guard flight rules dictate that the aircraft must abort its mission.

It is a federal crime, as well as a violation of California state law to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft. If an individual is caught purposefully lasing an aircraft, punishment ranges from being arrested or having to pay a civil penalty of $1000 up to $2,000 and 3 years imprisonment. Federal law allows for a punishment of imprisonment of up to 5 years. A list of California aviation laser incidents can be seen at the following location:

Anyone witnessing this crime is strongly encouraged to immediately call 911 to report the incident.

The Coast Guard wants to prevent future laser strikes and is working with the Federal Aviation Administration, Eureka Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to ensure the safety of Coast Guard crews and the public.



  • Wtf! Who knew!? Now did this crew member wear night vision goggles to amplify the beam?
    That must have been one hell of a laser to get that far….
    Some more tax money I suppose for medical attention and paid leave, just what this broke ass county and state needs,…

    • lesson one.....

      Just fyi so some research before you spout off. If you or a loved one are drowning or otherwise need rescuing, pls do not call the cops if this is how u feel about these airmen. You dont think its important, go ahead and drown. They do more to help than any other agency and arent even funded with local tax dollars. & Yes there are lasers powerful enough to cause harm, people have been arrested for pointing them at airplanes at even at higher elevations. And tho many want to bitch about taxes (paying for folks who risk their lives to save yours seems pretty dumb to complain about, to me at least) here is how the coast guard gets funding. Please all you complainers learn what the county really funds rather than spreading disinformation….
      The  () is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country’s sevenuniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agencymission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the U.S. Department of the Navy by the U.S. President at any time, or by the U.S. Congress during times of war. To date, this has happened twice, in 1917 and 1941, during World War I and World War II, respectively.[8][10]

    • I hear that smutty Steve!

  • Seems like everyone is a victim of something. It gets old.

  • no body should mess with the coast guard we need and rely on these brave people reckless irresponsibility

  • I’ve had lasers in my eyes before and it didn’t hurt or cause blindness so this must have been some super power laser, how do these homeless druggies get such a powerful weapon? Mind boggling I say!


    lottery ticket///yawn.

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