Hoax Call Likely in Sandwich, MA, Search
March 16, 2015
The Cape Cod Times reports that Coast Guard and Sandwich Fire Department members who initiated the search for a sinking vessel off Sandwich, MA, believe that the VHF call that elicited the search was a hoax.
S&R teams spent some 3 hours on Wednesday, March 11, searching the waters off Scusset Beach for a person who had made an apparent mayday call at around 10:30 a.m. The sender of the message apparently said, “I’m going down,” then was never heard from again.
Penalties for issuing a false distress call can include a 6-year prison sentence, a $250,000 criminal fine, a $5,000 civil fine and reimbursement of the cost of the search.