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Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

I was at a safety at sea seminar last year. During one of the meetings a CG swimmer said the laser flares, especially the green ones, because of the night vision goggles, were very visible. The human eye is attracted to motion, so moving the laser would seem to be the ticket. Perhaps the CG has not issued official guidance to SAR crews.
Lasering aircraft is actually a huge problem, hundreds of cases every year. Those are usually high powered laser pointers, held on the cockpit of an aircraft, most frequently a hovering helo or aircraft on final. I tend to believe that a SAR crew on a mission would be able to tell the difference between a laser waved by a mariner in distress and a laser being used maliciously to "light up" an aircraft. I was peripherally involved in investigating laser incidents a few years ago. In all of the incidents I know of, the evil doer was on land, near a hovering helicopter (usually police or traffic), or on the approach path to an airport. The laser was maintained on the cockpit for a fair amount of time, not waved. The only "at sea" incident I ever heard of involved an infrared laser, a Russian "trawler" and a Navy sigint aircraft. I have been out of that loop for several years, but it's hard to believe the two scenarios could be confused.
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