News

Actions

Coast Guard seeks help in solving hoax distress calls

Posted at 10:09 AM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-26 21:33:09-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The U.S. Coast Guard is asking for the public's help in identifying hoax callers in southwest Florida.

Charles "Marty" Russell, the agency's agent-in-charge of the St. Petersburg office, said in a news release Friday that over the past year they've received a steady stream of radio calls along Florida's west coast. The calls were made on VHF-FM marine band channel 16, which is designated only for hailing and distress calls.

Russell says the agency immediately responds when it receives a distress call "putting our crews at risk, and risking the lives of boaters who may legitimately need our help."

Penalties for making a false distress call can include six years in prison, a $250,000 criminal fine, a $5,000 civil fine and restitution to the Coast Guard and other agencies.

The attached video was produced by the U.S. Coast Guard

Tokyo Olympics Medal Count as of late July 31, 2021