Coast Guard stages drill on Hood Canal

by: Chris Legeros Updated:

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HOOD CANAL, Wash. - The Hood Canal Bridge is occasionally closed to traffic, so that the span can be opened up to allow a boat or a Navy submarine through. 

On Tuesday afternoon, a van suddenly sped across the bridge during the closure. As it approached Navy vessels, we heard a steady stream of automatic weapons fire.

The Coast Guard wasn't shooting real bullets, they were blanks. It was just a drill, a simulated terrorist attack.

Robert Brewster is a civilian employee of the Coast Guard who helped plan the drill. He also played the part of one of the bad guys in the van. They were equipped with fake weapons including replicas of an AK-47 assault rifle and a rocket-propelled grenade.

Tania Issa watched from the shoreline and said, "That was fascinating, like war games."

The bridge was closed as a safety precaution. Some of the commuters stuck in traffic seemed irritated by the delay that lasted a half hour.

Linda Perkins said, "I do need to get across the bridge, so I'm not really happy that it's happening right now."

Others expressed thanks that the Coast Guard was training to fight any possible threat to public safety.

David Greenwood said, "I think it's a good thing and it's the price we have to pay for freedom, so I appreciate what they do."