A distress call from Isle au Haut,Maine, early Saturday morning prompted a 10-hour search for a fishing vessel that was never found, prompting officials to suspect a hoax, according to a report in the Bangor Daily News.
The call came in at 2:22 a.m. that said, “Mayday, this is Kristy Lynn hailing the Coast Guard,” according to the report. The Coast Guard Sector Northern New England deployed a Falcon jet with four crewmembers and a 47-foot rescue response boat from the Rockland Station, according to the report. Ten hours and several searches for the boat named Kristy Lynn followed.
“It was brutal on the ocean with the wind chill,” says Coast Guard Chief Ilya Atamaniuk in the report. “The air temperature was 17 degrees at sea, and the wind was blowing at 35 knots.”
The Coast Guard did reach an owner of a Kristy Lynn, but the man was safely fishing in MuscongusBay, leading them to believe this was a probable hoax call. There is no information at this time how much in resources was used for this search.
Hoax distress calls placed to the Coast Guard are classified as a felony and is punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
— Elizabeth Ellis