The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for a hoax caller that made a false distress call earlier this month in the Gloucester, Massachusetts, area.
On July 7, 2011, Coast Guard Sector Boston received the Mayday call via VHF-FM radio channel 16 around 10:00 p.m., stating that a 24-foot pleasure craft was taking on water with 2 people aboard roughly 20 to 40 minutes outside Gloucester Harbor (see link BoatingLocal: Small Boat Distress Call Received). Before losing communication with the Coast Guard, the caller stated both boaters were going to put on their lifejackets. No other communications were received.
Click the audio file (below) of the hoax Mayday call:Initial Mayday Call
The Coast Guard launched boats and aircraft in response to the call and searched the waters of Gloucester throughout the night. The cost of the search totaled approximately $132,000.
The search was suspended the following day after no additional information was found and no missing persons were reported to the Coast Guard and local authorities.
The Coast Guard offers a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible for making a false distress or hoax call to the U.S. Coast Guard. Anyone with information regarding false distress calls is encouraged to contact the Coast Guard at (617) 557-9091.
Click the audio file (below) for Coast Guard responses to hoax Mayday call:Mayday Call Response
Link for CGIS hoax pamphlet:
SAR Hoax Reward Pamphlet (PDF)