sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : US Hoaxes point to the general problem of hoax distress calls
US Hoaxes point to the general problem of hoax distress calls

'Fully prepared and waiting for survivors who never existed'    .

Two recent hoax distress calls in the USA, in New Jersey and Tampa, costing major disruption and hundreds of thousands of dollars, have drawn attention to the issue that is real and ongoing for rescue services, no matter in what country they occur.

Lt Commander Mia Dutcher, who supervises search and rescue missions in Tampa, maintains that, in the Tampa Bay area alone, they field 600-700 hoax calls a year.


When the Coast Guard responded to reports of a yacht explosion off the coast of New Jersey, the urgency appeared real, and the ensuing search was massive.

In a calm voice, the caller described the sinking vessel and the causalities on board.

But after an exhausting five-hour search and at a cost of more than $300,000, the Coast Guard determined the distress call was bogus.

Some hoax calls, however, are obvious, says Dutcher. 'The one case where we had a child over the radio I could hear the adult in the background telling them what to say, but we could not locate that person.'

And in New Jersey as well as Tampa, they are still looking for the person who pulled off the latest hoax.

If they do find him, Coast Guard authorities say he could spend many years on land...facing up to six years in prison.

Investigators are checking the possibility that the calls came from the same man, Coast Guard Capt. Gregory Hitchen said. A voice expert has been analyzing the calls.

Each vessel was 'taking on water,' not sinking. The people on board were described as 'souls,' and in each case, the caller referred to an automatic signaling 'beacon' in orange life rafts.

New Jersey:
In New Jersey, a reported June 11 explosion aboard the super-yacht Blind Date off Sandy Hook prompted a massive effort by emergency responders that cost more than $335,000, authorities said. The caller said 21 people were aboard, of whom three had died and nine were injured.

Texas:In Texas, another major rescue effort to locate the six people from a sinking fishing boat May 20 near Galveston also cost thousands of dollars. A more precise cost estimate has not been determined.

In both incidents, no evidence was found the vessels existed.

The Mayday calls may be examples of a practice known as 'swatting,' in which pranksters make hoax calls to authorities, then brag about them on blogs, the FBI said.

The calls for help, it was later determined, seemed to originate from land, investigators said, and were made to the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service rather than to the service in general, which would be more natural, or to the known emergency frequency, VHF Channel 16.

The caller provided 'very specific locations of distress and distances, while at the same time exhibiting throughout the calls unfamiliarity with the area and/or using references to location that a boat captain typically wouldn't use,' officials said in the statement.

However, authorities are as yet no closer to identifying the culprit. The Coast Guard is seeking the public's help in the investigation and has offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and prosecution. Following is the actual voice recording (Can you assist?):


by Sail-World Cruising round-up

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=99160

10:44 PM Sat 30 Jun 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Safety and the cruising sailor

Related News Stories:

19 Jun 2012  Taxpayers paid $330,000 for hoax rescue call
18 Jun 2012  Sabbath laws and 'who will pay' hampers search for missing sailors
15 Jun 2012  Satphone - to become mandatory for offshore sailors?
30 May 2012  Product of the Week: Hand-held laser flare, prize-winning Odeo
29 May 2012  Product of the Week: Hand-held laser flare, prize-winning Odeo
28 May 2012  Every life jacket rescue a cause for hope
27 May 2012  US Sailing preliminary report on fatal yacht incident
20 May 2012  North American Safe Boating Week - on again this week
12 May 2012  Dinghy danger: Crewman dies, no life jacket
09 May 2012  18 May: Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World



































































Six Metre European Championship - High temps and little wind on day 3
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Light wind opener in Vannes
International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23
International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video
Spirits high as Team Alvimedica completes Transatlantic crossing
Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature
29er North American Championship - Day 1 in Kingston
Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio
Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Classic conditions on day 3
NYYC Race Week Part II images by Rolex/Daniel Forster
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 1   
Six Metre European Championship - Blazing sunshine on opening day   
National Sailing Hall of Fame to present Lifetime Achievement Award   
International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Fantastic finale determines winners   
Six Metre Class British Open Championship - Llanoria and Valhalla win   
Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC   
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries   
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video   
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh   
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening   
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2   
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again   
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible   
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters   
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek   
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT