Coastguard hit by laser beam after hoax call

The Coastguard helicopter
The Coastguard helicopter
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A HIGH-powered laser beam was fired at the coastguard helicopter as it responded to a hoax call.

The helicopter, based in Lee-on-the-Solent, joined coastguard rescue crews from Hill Head and Southampton as well as Hamble independent lifeboat as they responded to a call about a man seen jumping from Northam Bridge at Bitterne Manor on the Itchen River.

Police later arrested a man on suspicion of making a malicious call on Friday evening.

Mike O’Sullivan, a watch manager for Solent Coastguard said: ‘During the course of the search a powerful laser beam light was fired into the cab of the Coastguard rescue helicopter.

‘These hand-held lasers are highly dangerous and can cause a pilot to become distracted or even blinded putting all the crew at risk.’

The crew of the helicopter recorded video footage of the incident which is now being investigated by police.