The Coast Guard said Monday it would begin using the munitions to enforce security zones around Navy ships, Washington state ferries, cruise ships and tankers.
Escort crews are being equipped with projectiles that are fired from a 12-gauge shotgun. They explode in about 100 yards in a bright flash and loud sound.
A Coast Guard spokesman says some boaters intrude on the moving security zone around Navy ships. Spokesman Colin White says that in addition to the 500-yard zone around naval vessels, there is an additional 1,000-yard security zone around all submarines in Puget Sound.
If boaters see or hear a flashbang they should slow down and contact the Coast Guard.
White says the Coast Guard has been using the flashbangs for several years on drug and illegal immigration missions, as well as to stop vessels on the high seas.
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