Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

Coast Guard has increased reward for New Jersey hoax caller

by Powerboat-world.com on 13 Jun 2012
US Coast Guard helicopters . ..
The US Coast Guard has increased the reward to $3,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible for making a false distress call to the Coast Guard Monday, reporting a vessel explosion and sinking east of Sandy Hook, N.J.

Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service New York received a distress call at approximately 4:20 p.m., Monday, reportedly from the yacht Blind Date, stating the vessel suffered an explosion, seven people were injured and all 21 people reportedly aboard the yacht had abandoned ship into liferafts. A later call to the Coast Guard reported that three people aboard the boat had died, and that several people had 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns, and that people aboard were abandoning ship into liferafts.

Here is the CBS report



Making a false distress call is a federal felony with a maximum penalty of five to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and reimbursement to the Coast Guard for the cost of performing the search. Coast Guard and other state and local agencies responded to more than 60 suspected hoax calls in the northern New Jersey, New York City and Hudson River region in 2011.

In addition to being a federal crime, false distress calls waste tax payer dollars, put Coast Guard and other first responders at unnecessary risk and can interfere with the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to actual distress at sea.

'More than 200 first responders assembled mass casualty receptions areas in Newark, and Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook, N.J., preparing to receive the reported injured passengers,' said Cmdr. Kenneth Pierro, of Coast Guard Sector New York.

Monday’s Coast Guard search east of Sandy Hook included two Coast Guard boat crews and four Coast Guard helicopter crews, who searched approximately 638 square nautical miles. Response units from New York City Police Department, Fire Department of New York City, New Jersey State Police and Nassau County Police Department also conducted searches in the area.

The hoaxster behind two calls alerting the US Coast Guard of a motor yacht exploding off New Jersey calmly told authorities on Monday that three of his fellow passengers had died, the boat was taking on water and the water level on the bridge was about three feet high


'I'm gonna stay by the radio for as long as I can before I have to go overboard,' the male voice said according to an audio recording the Coast Guard released on Tuesday.

'We have three deceased, nine injured,' the hoaxer said. 'We've had an explosion on board, that's why we're taking on water.'

The caller even told the Coast that life rafts carrying survivors were equipped with beacons to make themselves more visible to rescuers.

Cast Guard Deputy Commander Gregory Hitchen said at a news conference the hoax caller gave authorities a 'specific blow-by-blow' on how the boat was filling up with water.

'Many hoax calls, you can tell immediately they're from children,' he said. 'This one was somewhat calm but was giving a convincing story as to what the nature of his emergency was.'

The caller also claimed the vessel sank but everyone had made it to life rafts. But Coast Guard crews and New York City police helicopters found no sign of any people or any distress in the water, and after several hours of searching it became increasingly clear there was no explosion.

'When they arrived on scene, helicopters looking down, they would have seen life rafts,' Hitchen said. 'And they would've seen smoke.'

The caller also said the group didn't have a handheld radio or flares in the dinghy to communicate with rescuers.

At about 10 p.m., the Coast Guard made the decision to call off the search.

The two calls came in on a radio positioned somewhere in New Jersey or southern New York, possibly Staten Island, the Coast Guard said. They came in on a Coast Guard channel that is not typically used for emergencies.

Hitchen said the hoax put the public at risk by taking Coast Guard personnel away from a separate emergency call that came in during the four-hour-long search. The Coast Guard received a report of a person in the water off Bayonne, N.J., in the separate call but did not find anyone in distress.

Making a false distress call is a federal felony, with a maximum penalty of five to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and reimbursement to the Coast Guard for the cost of performing the search. The Coast Guard and other state and local agencies responded to more than 60 suspected hoax calls last year in the northern New Jersey, New York City and Hudson River region.

Monday's distress call and search came nearly a year after a similar situation unfolded near Sandy Hook.

A call on an emergency radio channel was received in the early morning hours of June 14, 2011, with the caller claiming a 33-foot sailboat named Courtney Lynn was taking on water. Less than an hour later, another call came in claiming the boat was 90 percent submerged, and the four boaters were transferring to a small gray dinghy.



Anyone with information regarding false distress calls is encouraged to anonymously contact the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service at 646-872-5774 or 212-668-7048
Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Barz Optics - Kids rangeProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Vendee2020Vision – Six best solo sailors selected
Vendée2020Vision helped with the coaching and development of a 10-strong squad of Britain’s top aspirant solo skippers. While in Les Sables d’Olonne competitors continue to stream across the finish line after three and a half months at sea, in Southampton work continues to train up British sailing talent to give them the best chance of competing in the Vendée Globe in four year’s time.
Posted today at 1:15 pm
Extreme Sailing Series– ENGIE and Team Tilt to take wildcard challenge
Headed up by highly experienced offshore sailor, Sebastien Rogues, ENGIE come with valuable experience in the GC32 Following their participation in the inaugural GC32 Championship - also being staged in Muscat - the GC32 Racing Tour teams ENGIE and Team Tilt will compete in the Extreme Sailing Series season opener in Oman in less than two weeks' time.
Posted today at 11:57 am
Invisible Hand In inshore mode – Images by Erik Simonson
Invisible Hand In inshore mode – Images by Erik Simonson Invisible Hand In inshore mode – Images by Erik Simonson
Posted today at 11:31 am
Vendée Globe – Didac Costa takes 14th place
The tenacious, driven Costa succeeded with one of the smallest budgets of 29 skippers who started race on November 6th. The tenacious, driven Costa has succeeded with one of the smallest budgets of the 29 skippers who started the race on November 6th.
Posted today at 9:36 am
Vendee Globe - Foresight Natural Energy Day 109 - Ancient Homer
The wind has died. The one proud mainsail drags lazily back and forth across the cabin top. The wind has died. The one proud mainsail drags lazily back and forth across the cabin top. Even the rippling laughter of the wake down the side of the hull has dulled as Foresight Natural Energy lethargically crawls across the dark disk of the horizon. The bright orange jib is the only flash of colour in a quiet world where a dull lead coloured sea lolls under a pewter sky.
Posted today at 4:36 am
CCA welcomes America's fastest non-stop solo circumnavigator
The CCA is particularly proud of member Rich Wilson’s accomplishment in the just completed Vendée Globe race The Cruising Club of America is particularly proud of member Rich Wilson’s (Marblehead, Mass.) accomplishment in the just completed Vendée Globe race. Sailing solo for nearly 27,500 miles aboard Great American IV, Wilson finished the planet-rounding competition in just over 107 days, returning to the west coast of France on Tuesday February 21, 2017 after having started there on November 6, 2016.
Posted today at 3:44 am
RORC Caribbean 600 - Rambler 88 takes Monohull Line Honours
George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88 finished the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 22 February 2017 George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88 finished the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 11 hrs 56 mins 17 secs AST taking Monohull Line Honours.
Posted today at 1:14 am
Vendee Globe - Colman progressing in right direction - speaks to BBC
Conrad Colman's pace has not increased substantially in the last 12 hours, his direction has become more direct. Although Kiwi solo sailor Conrad Colman's pace has not increased substantially in the last 12 hours, his direction has become much more direct. After a frustrating passage through an area of light winds, Colman is now heading for a weather system which should allow him to hook in a wind system that will take him to the finish. He spoke to BBC's Radio 4 today:
Posted on 22 Feb
Vendée Globe – Costa to cross Thursday morning for 14th
Progress has remained painfully slow for Kiwi skipper Conrad Colman today as he sails into a wide high pressure ridge Progress has remained painfully slow for Kiwi skipper Conrad Colman today as he sails into a wide high pressure ridge which stands between him and the favourable westerly breezes which should finally allow the jury rigged Foresight Natural Energy to sail more directly towards the French coast and the finish line
Posted on 22 Feb
Sanya awarded Youth Sailing World Championships
World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport is pleased to announce that Sanya, China will host the 2017 edition The 2017 selection process opened in November 2016 after the Israeli Sailing Association exercised the right to withdraw from hosting the 2017 edition as a final contract had not been concluded.
Posted on 22 Feb