WASHINGTON – A U.S. Navy commander says Iranian navy patrol boat shined a laser on a U. S. Marine Corps helicopter flies over the Strait of Hormuz in what officials say was an unsafe encounter.
The Navy of the V. S. Cmdr. Bill Urban says the Iranian ship also turned the spotlight on two Navy ships through the straits on Tuesday. Urban, a US Fifth Fleet spokesman, said the Iranian boat came within 800 meters of the USS Bataan, scanned from bow to stern with the spotlight and shone the light on the USS Cole.
The helicopter automatically fired flares in response.
Urban says that the action was considered dangerous, because it shines a laser beam at a helicopter in the night can impair pilots’ vision and disorient them when they are wearing night vision goggles.