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Coast Guard investigating after laser pointed at vessel

Posted at 4:12 PM, Apr 01, 2016

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.  — The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating an incident in which a high-intensity green laser was pointed at the side of one of its vessels on Lake Michigan near Grand Haven.

Officials announced a reward Friday for information leading to the person or persons responsible.

The incident occurred about 11:30 p.m. Saturday as the crew was conducting a routine patrol. It follows eight others along the western Michigan shoreline over the past year. Officials say Coast Guard vessels and aircrafts were deliberately illuminated by lasers on those occasions.

The Coast Guard says green lasers present significant risks to crews operating at night and could delay search and rescue operations.

Coast Guard Senior Chief Justin Olson says he's not sure if the laser was pointed at them intentionally, but says people should realize that high intensity lasers are not toys.

"It can put people's lives in danger if we have to take time out to regain night vision and go back with our mission," Olson said.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service at 216-902-6140 or Ottawa County Dispatch at 800-249-0911.

A helicopter training mission in Port Angeles, Washington, was cut short last year after someone shined a laser at the aircraft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report