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Press Release | Oct. 6, 2023

Coast Guard seeks public assistance with hoax call

D17 Public Affairs

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard Investigative Service is seeking the public’s assistance with information regarding a search and rescue hoax transmission.  

The call was made Sept. 12 at approximately 9:44 p.m. over VHF channel 16. According to the transmission audio logs provided, the unidentified male caller said he was sinking, did not provide valid amplifying information, and then said, “Sorry, these guys made me do it.” The caller’s final transmissions stated he was not in distress. 

Knowingly transmitting false distress calls is a federal crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1038. It can lead to criminal and civil penalties if found guilty and can be punishable by up to six years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. False distress calls undermine the Coast Guard’s mission of providing search and rescue assistance to the maritime community that needs it, and this crime is treated very seriously. 

If you have information regarding the above incident, contact the Coast Guard Investigative Service at (907) 463-2105.