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Someone pointed laser in eyes of Oregon coast boatcrew, authorities want to know who

Published 07/20/23 at 8:31 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Someone pointed laser in eyes of Oregon coast boatcrew, authorities want to know who

(Garibaldi, Oregon) – Someone hanging out at a north Oregon coast jetty pointed a green laser into the eyes of a boatcrew coming out of Tillamook Bay and injured one crewmember - and now the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) wants to know who. That boat, it turns out, was a Coast Guard vessel. (Above: Garibaldi at dusk / Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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USCG is requesting information from the public in locating a suspect or suspects. The incident happened Wednesday night west of the Tillamook Bay entrance at about 10:45 p.m. The 47-foot motor lifeboat was about a mile offshore conducting training exercises when the laser was pointed from what they estimate was Rockaway Beach's Nedonna Beach or Manhattan Beach.

“The individual who was struck by the laser suffered from distorted vision following the incident,” USCG said.

This makes it a definite crime.

Laser pointers pose various kinds of dangers to those flying aircraft as well as with watercraft, with the glare causing afterimage, flash blindness or even a temporary loss of vision at night. It has some serious consequences in a number of ways, including creating a cascade effect that can cause further risk to those needing emergency assistance.

“If a laser is shined in the eyes of an aircrew member, Coast Guard flight rules dictate that the aircraft must abort its mission,” USCG said.

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Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft or vessel is a felony crime under 18 U.S. Code Section 111, which states whoever forcibly assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with any person - a U.S. government officer - (in this case, a Coast Guard member) engaged in performance of his/her official duties, is in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 111.

Aiming a laser pointer at a vessel is also a crime under 46 U.S. Code section 70014, which states ‘It shall be unlawful to cause the beam of a laser pointer to strike a vessel operating on the navigable waters of the United States.’

Coast Guard Investigative Service agents are investigating the incident.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact investigators at (503) 247-4002 or anonymously at CGIS tips:

For more information about laser safety and the effects of a laser incident, visit the Federal Aviation Administration’s Laser Safety Initiative webpage at:


Photo US Coast Guard

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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