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Hoax caller pays with jail time

DEC. 28 - A Canadian fisherman was sent to jail last week for a false mayday call he placed last December.

Graham Davis, of Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, was sentenced to 14 days in jail for placing the mayday call when there actually wasn’t an emergency, news reports say. On Dec. 4, 2004, Davis called a search-and-rescue center claiming he was on a sinking boat about 60 miles off St. John’s. Officials at the rescue center said they were immediately suspicious of the call.

“He provided a cell phone number to us, but it was inconsistent with the number that was actually showing up on our call display,” Clarence Peddle of the St. John’s Maritime Search and Rescue center says in a news report.

Before launching a search-and-rescue mission, officials investigated the call, according to news reports. Officials contacted one of Davis’ neighbors to see if he was home. Davis was reportedly found in a shed in his backyard. There was no sinking boat.

“In this case here, there was incarceration involved, so the precedent has been set,” Peddle says in a report. “So if somebody does it again and we locate them, and they are charged, we will look certainly for a similar sentence of incarceration.”

Jason Fell