Coast Guard Persues Hoax Distress Caller

Press Release
Thursday, June 21, 2012

United States Coast Guard releases new information in New Jersey probable hoax case

The Coast Guard continues to investigate a probable hoax distress call that was received June 11, 2012, alleging a yacht explosion off Sandy Hook, N.J.

Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service New York received the distress call at approximately 4:20 p.m., reportedly from the master of the yacht Blind Date, stating the vessel suffered an explosion with 21 people aboard.

A massive, multi-agency search took place 17 nautical miles east of Sandy Hook, and involved two Coast Guard boat crews, four Coast Guard aircraft crews, response units from New York City Police Department, Fire Department of New York City, New Jersey State Police, and Nassau County Police Department. Good Samaritan boats also participated in the 5 1/2-hour, 638-square nautical mile search.

Coast Guard Investigative Service New York believes there may be a connection to a similar unresolved distress call in the Houston, Texas area, May 20, 2012.

Some of the similarities of the two cases include:
1. Both calls seem to originate from land. With the Sandy Hook case, Coast Guard direction finding equipment points to an area from the north shore of Staten Island, over New Jersey to near the George Washington Bridge.
2. The caller specifically contacted a Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service in both cases. Typically when a person is in distress they will ask for the Coast Guard in general or hail mayday on VHF channel 16, the known emergency frequency.
3. The same terminology was used in both the Houston and Sandy Hook case, and not all of it was standard nautical/non-military mariner terminology. The caller, for both cases specifically stated they were “taking on water,” not sinking. He used “souls” to describe the people aboard and “beacon” to describe a supposed automatic signaling device on liferafts.
4. The caller in both cases gave very specific locations of distress and distances, while at the same time exhibiting throughout the calls unfamiliarity with the area and/or using references to location that a boat captain typically wouldn’t use.
5. Voice and manner of speaking were similar for both calls.

The Coast Guard Investigative Service is asking for the public’s help. A $3,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible for making a false distress call to the Coast Guard. Anyone with information regarding this probable hoax is encouraged to anonymously contact CGIS at 212-668-7048 or 646-872-5774.



 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

New York, London Juxtaposed by New Maritime Event

On November 13, the newly formed New York Maritime Consortium, a coalition of leaders from New York Maritime Inc. (NYMAR), the Society of Maritime Arbitrators (SMA),

Yara Reports Strong 3Q Results

Yara International ASA delivered strong third-quarter results, with record fertilizer deliveries and continued margin benefit from lower European gas price. "Yara

Bright Outlook for BWM Convention

The Danish Maritime Authority informed that the Ballast Water Management Convention is now one step closer to ratification following last week’s meeting of United

Coast Guard

EUCAP Nestor Train 30 Somali Coast Guards

On 21 October, the European Union’s Maritime Capacity Building Mission in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Nestor) celebrated the successful completion of a two month Mentoring,

Video: USCG Medevacs Navy Sailor off Virginia

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) medevaced a man Wednesday from a Navy vessel off the Virginia coast after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth

Boater Rescued from Sailboat Blaze

The U.S. Coast Guard assisted with the rescue of a boater Monday after the man's 33-foot sailboat caught fire five miles west of Windmill Point in the Chesapeake Bay.

Maritime Safety

Three Dead in Offshore Platform Accident

Three workers were killed and one is still missing after an accident at one of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, Azeri state energy company SOCAR said on Thursday.

IBIA Welcomes MEPC Bunker Compromise

The compromise solution on the issue of ensuring bunker quality agreed at the 67th meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67) has been

Documentary Examines Shipbreaking Practices in Bangladesh

Toxic ships for Bangladesh: TV documentary on German ship owners and their shipbreaking practices A new documentary titled "Giftiger Tankerschrott für Bangladesch

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1619 sec (6 req/sec)