July 25, 2016
By Lorra B.
The Coast Guard is seeking a prankster who has been calling for help over the past two years. This colossal waste of manpower that could have been spent looking for people in real distress has cost the Coast Guard a whopping $500,000.
There have been twenty-eight distress calls to the Coast Guard that have sent them searching for boats, people or wreckage off the Maryland coast. Each call originated from the same person and each call was a hoax.
“It could cause the potential loss of life for someone else who really is in harm’s way,” stated Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Sara Wallace. Wallace heads the response sector in Maryland.
“I’m sinking, I’m sinking, I repeat, I’m sinking I’m sinking,” cried the hoaxer.
The most current calls were made on July 21 and made by the same male voice. The calls began in July 2014.
What this prankster may not know is that making false distress calls is not only a felony it is punishable of $250,000 criminal fine and a $10,000 civil fine. The person responsible for these calls could also face a max sentence in prison of six years. The Coast Guard may also go after the individual to seek reimbursement for the money they have spent, according to NBC4 Washington.
If anyone has information about the caller, they are encouraged to email agents at CGIS-Baltimore@uscg.mil or contact the Coast Guard’s regional command center at 410-576-2525.
“A hoax call is a deadly and serious offense,” said Wallace. “Calls like these not only put our crews at risk, but they put the lives of the public at risk.”
Throw the book at them.