Maritime Safety – Coastguard Introduces New Warning, Signal, Device

April 26, 2012

USCG implements a new non-lethal, signal, warning device

The Coast Guard is implementing the use of a non-lethal signaling and warning device to support the service’s ports waterways and coastal security mission in Hawaii.

The LA51 signal and warning device is a fired from a 12-gauge military shotgun to produce a visible signal at a range of 100 meters. Training will be conducted in a designated firing range approximately 50 miles north of Oahu.

The LA51 signal and warning device is considered a safer alternative to the current warning devices used by Coast Guard personnel. It is a shorter range round, and the flash and noise produced by the device are more prominent than a splash in the water caused by the M16 tracer round. Additionally, the Department of Defense’s joint non-lethal weapons program has determined through their testing that the LA51 has a low risk of significant injury.

The Coast Guard has been using the LA51 as a warning signal during alien migrant interdiction operations and counter-drug operations. The LA51 warning device will now be used during security zone enforcement and the execution of the ports waterways and coastal security mission.

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