Green lasers cause trouble on the beach and in the air

Sergeant Phillip Cane of Myrtle Beach Beach Police says that green lasers have become an epidemic in 2012.

He says they respond to multiple calls each day dealing with green lasers being pointed at people on the beach, shot into hotel rooms, and most recently into cockpits of helicopters and airplanes.

Huffman Helicopter President, Jeremy Bass can attest to that saying he sees them "two, three times a week, sometimes more."

Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach both have restrictions against the green lasers.

In both cities, you can't purchase them if you are under 18. In Myrtle Beach, you also can be charged with a misdemeanor if you using them illegally.

Shining lasers into a cockpit is against federal law. You can face up to $11,000 in fines.

Bass says when a green laser hits the glass of a helicopter, "It's an immediate snap action. The entire cockpit glows a bright green, very intense."

He says that intense glow makes a pilot feel blinded and disoriented.

"It takes anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute to re-adjust back to what you can see in the dark," says Bass.

He says the increase in lasers makes him nervous for his pilots and his clients.

"When they shine them in the eye of folks who are flying people around at night, they're putting the safety of that entire flight at risk and putting all the lives of the people in that aircraft in danger."

Bass understands that these $4 and $5 lasers can be fun for kids, but he says parents need to educate them on the danger they can create.

"In many cases they think it's probably a childish act, let's see if we can hit that plane flying by, let's see if we can hit that helicopter, they just don't realize what they're doing," says Bass.