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Laser laws reduce risk
to pilots, boaters
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Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga., was on the verge of discontinuing search and rescue service to the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area last summer after dozens of helicopter crews were targeted by green lasers.
Because of the considerable risks faced by our crews, we reached out to several community leaders last year in the vicinity of Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach to solve this problem.
Thanks to your leaders’ efforts, ordinances were passed banning the sale of these devices to minors. Law enforcement agencies, businesses and citizens played a key role in stopping these “toys” from being wielded by unknowing youth. Notable progress has been made, evident through a recent spring break sting operation that found no businesses selling lasers along the beachfront.
There were a of total 68 laser incidents reported to the FAA in 2012 in the greater Myrtle Beach area. So far in 2013, the Coast Guard has not had any of its aircraft illuminated by lasers in the area. We applaud the efforts made by local leaders and sincerely appreciate the community’s support of the initiative.
As a reminder, local ordinances make it illegal for any person to knowingly sell, lease or otherwise provide a laser pointer to anyone under the age of 17, except as otherwise permitted. Those who violate this ordinance can receive up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Federal law prohibits anyone from shining a laser at an aircraft or at the flight path of an aircraft. Federal penalties include fines and imprisonment up to 5 years.
Capt. Ric Rodriguez
Commander, Coast Guard Sector Charleston
Commander Gregory Fuller
Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Air Station Savannah
Writer takes selfish
view of U.S. soldiers
While Mande Wilkes makes several valid points regarding the state of our military and the missions it has been assigned, she pretty much misses several other very critical points. She has every right to her opinions. Further, she has every right to provide guidance to her young son regarding his career paths. She even has the right to make a living writing and publishing selfish, idiotic babble. I am fully aware that there are numerous bad apples in every barrel. The military barrel certainly has its share, but so, apparently, does the journalism barrel.
Ms. Wilkes really needs to understand and appreciate the fact that she retains those rights only because millions of U.S. soldiers have fought and died over the last two centuries to protect them. If she succeeds in talking her son out of being a soldier but wants him and her other progeny to continue living with these very rights protected, she had certainly better hope that millions of other, less selfish parents encourage their sons and daughters to be U.S. soldiers. I have several nieces and nephews who have served or are still serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I also have close friends who are working incredibly hard to ease the pain and suffering that resulted from that kind of service to our country. I am incredibly proud of them all.
I find it really hard to understand how we will ultimately be better off with more selfish takers like Ms. Wilkes, and fewer service providers like U.S. soldiers.
North Myrtle Beach