Vessel distress call might have been hoax

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A fishing vessel that issued a distress call off Galveston, Texas, could have gone down with all hands, but Coast Guard officials said Wednesday that the call might have been a hoax.

The Coast Guard called off its search about noon Tuesday after helicopters, jet aircraft, rescue boats and two cutters scoured an area the size of Delaware for nearly two days.

Chief warrant officer Lionel Bryant said officials are not discounting the possibility that the vessel was lost, but they are suspicious because no one had heard of the vessel that identified itself in a distress call about 1:15 p.m. Sunday as either the Scallywag or the Skylark.

The Coast Guard got no response after putting the name and description out to the public, Bryant said.

"If it was a fishing vessel you would assume they would have some communication with home base," he said.

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