Laser Pointed at Bridge

31st July 2008

Laser Pointed at Bridge

Initial Report

Report Text:

The vessel was entering port. A ferry was leaving. A green laser pointer sighted on port quarter of the ferry shining outward. Directed at Bridge of own vessel, light was so strong that Bridge team had to look away. It was quite a surprise that this light was so strong as to be painful to the eye, particularly at that range. Other vessel contacted and promised to deal with it. Own Vessel turned into approach channel on track despite this, light was again pointed at the bridge of own vessel, Bridge team looked away and vessel continued without further incident.

CHIRP Comment:

This type of malicious incident has unfortunately become quite frequent worldwide although not generally against ships.  If you are on the bridge of a vessel that is so affected, the general advice is:

  • Do not look directly towards the light source.
  • Concentrate on controlling the vessel.
  • If your vision is temporarily affected, call others to the bridge to provide support.
  • Advise the authorities as soon as possible.

A man was recently sentenced by an English court for four months imprisonment for shining a laser at a helicopter pilot.

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