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Man heads to federal prison for hoax mayday call

A North Carolina man will be spending the next three years and five month behind bars in federal prison after pleading guilty to making faulty distress calls to the Coast Guard.

According to WITN News, Charles Dowd, 27, made a mayday call to the Coast Guard claiming that a boat with seven people was sinking near the Core Creek Bridge that spans the Intracoastal Waterway. He claimed there was a child stuck on the sinking boat and he could no longer see the child.

A Marine Corps rescue helicopter from Cherry Point, Coast Guard boats from Fort Macon, and numerous first responders rushed to the location to find out the call was a prank.

Dowd was sentenced to his prison term on Wednesday in New Bern, NC. He will also have to pay $19,000 in restitution for the cost of the rescue. After his prison term he is required to be on three years of supervision, according to the Coast Guard.