Gardai are investigating reports of an incident in which an Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter came under a ‘laser attack’ while the aircraft was en route to a Dublin hospital following the successful rescue of a hand-glider.
Both the IRCG R117 and Clogherhead Coast Guard dealt with the incident yesterday evening, but their mission was hampered and endangered when the aircraft was stunned by a laser. The Irish Coast Guard have described the laser attack as ‘dangerous and irresponsible’.
This is the second such reported incident this weekend. In Northern Ireland, a seventeen-yea- old youth was arrested by the PSNI in Derry following a similar ‘laser attack’ on a Police helicopter on Friday night. PSNI Superintendent Mark McEwan said “The arrest was made on suspicion of endangering the safety of an aircraft. The seventeen year old boy was spoken to in the presence of his parents” he said.
Emergency Times comment: While targeting any aircraft of any kind with a laser light is a dangerous act and has the potential to cause the aircraft down, it is particularly worrying and disturbing that a police or a rescue helicopter or aircraft is targeted, given the purpose of their role in helping to save lives, rescuing people and preventing crime.