Fake Distress Call From Vinalhaven Cost Coast Guard More Than $30,000
On Wednesday, September 30th, 2014, when Owen Adair of Vinalhaven, made a phony call for help, the U.S. Coast Guard launched rescue crews that searched almost seven hours before giving up and realizing that the call was a hoax.
When Adair made that call from his truck parked on the shore, he said that he was aboard the Lila Rose off the coast of Rockland, that he had incurred a serious injury and that he was bleeding badly. The search that followed employed sixteen Coast Guard personnel and cost more than $30,000!
Owen Adair plead guilty this week and now faces up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine! He will be sentenced on August 12th.
Here's something to keep in mind: If a juvenile makes a hoax call, then his or her parents may be held accountable.
In a U.S. coast guard press release, it states that "Northern New England responded to 464 search and rescue cases: 76 were never resolved." Scott McCann, Command Center Chief at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England said, "When our searches come up empty-handed, the hardest part is never knowing whether the distress was real or not. We have a limited amount of boats, aircraft, and personnel. Responding to hoax calls puts our crews at risk and decreases our ability to respond to boaters who need our help.”
If you ever hear a fake hoax call for distress, or know of someone who has made one, you can help out by calling U.S. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England at (207) 767-0303 or by contacting the Federal Communications Commission.