The Coast Guard in Baltimore is asking for assistance with locating a hoax caller after they received six false distress calls between May 1 and June 1 and conducted four searches involving multiple air and boat crews from the Coast Guard and local authorities.
All six false distress calls were determined to have originated from the area of Middle River and involved the same male voice transmitting over VHF channel 16 saying “mayday, mayday.”
The Coast Guard’s cost for the searches is estimated to be approximately $70,000.
In addition to the cost, there is significant operational impact caused by making false distress calls.
Making a false distress call is a felony punishable by law. The maximum penalty for making a false distress call is six years in prison, a $5,000 civil fine, a $250,000 criminal fine and reimbursement to the Coast Guard.
Anyone with information regarding the calls is asked to contact Coast Guard Investigative Service Baltimore at (410) 576-2515.