Coast Guard seeks help in identifying hoax caller

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The Coast Guard in the Pacific Northwest is seeking the public’s help in identifying a hoax caller who has recently made multiple false distress calls earlier this month in the Puget Sound area.

Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service Puget Sound in Seattle received a Mayday call via VHF-FM radio channel 14 around 11 p.m., May 31, reporting that five people were donning life jackets and abandoning the fishing vessel Bristol Maid, reported to be on fire in Lilliwaup Bay, Hood Canal. No other communications were received.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, but did not receive any response.

Two Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, a Coast Guard 45-foot response boat-medium crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle, and a Mason County Sheriff’s Office boat crew completed multiple searches of the area, but found no signs of distress. The cost of the search totaled approximately $138,000.

The search was suspended five hours after the initial call because no signs of distress were found, no additional information was provided and no missing persons were reported to the Coast Guard or local authorities.

Click here for the full report with audio clips of each call. Authorities are hoping someone from the public can identify the caller by his voice.