Dispatches VIDEO: Hoax call could be linked to earlier prank call
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VIDEO: Hoax call could be linked to earlier prank call

The Coast Guard said Wednesday that the June 11 hoax distress call made by a man claiming to be the captain of a yacht that exploded off Sandy Hook, N.J., appeared to be linked to a false distress call made May 20 in Texas.

Authorities say both callers used the same terminology, such as "taking on water" instead of "sinking," and using "souls" to describe the people on board and "beacon" to refer to an automatic signaling device on the life rafts.


Click play for a Coast Guard press conference. Mobile users can also click here.

In both cases, the callers contacted Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service and said their GPS systems weren't working. In most distress cases, callers ask for the general Coast Guard or dial in to a known emergency frequency, officials say.

"I've been here since 2007, and this is the biggest hoax in regard to the number of helicopters and folks who actually responded to the scene," Capt. Gregory Hitchen said the day after the June 11 call.

Click here for the Coast Guard announcement, with links to the audio of the New Jersey and Texas mayday calls.

Click here for the full ABC News report.


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