U.S. Coast Guard Investigates Phone Call Hoaxes

U.S. Coast Guard Investigates Phone Call Hoaxes

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It's a call of distress, and the U.S. Coast Guard says it's all a hoax.

"Mayday, mayday, mayday. At Horn Island pass between Pascagoula, on the east end of horn island. My boat is on fire, and I got two people in the water and I'm finna jump too," the distressed caller radioed in.

"When you have people in the water that's immediate distress for us. It's very serious. We work on the honor system. When you say you are in distress, we are not going to second guess that. We are launching. That's our job, we get out there as fast was we can, with the appropriate resources. Only recently we've come on scene to find nothing," said Brad Parker, with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard has received four distress calls from the Horn Island area, just south of Pascagoula. The latest call came in on Friday. The search took 5 and a half hours, and the hoaxed aren't just a waste of time, but valuable tax dollar money.

It's something local boaters and fishermen take seriously.

"That's nothing to play with. There are people who are really in distress that need assistance from our responders," said fisherman Herdis Watkins.

George Raley is the owner of Alabama Line Services. He sails and docks boats in our local waters.

"For them not to find anybody it's probably a prank and it's sad," said Raley. "That word is very serious on the water?" I asked. "Very serious. Never fear the water, but respect it. And the coast guard does a great job and we are proud of them," said Raley.

So far the U.S. Coast Guard has not made any arrests in this case. Prank phone calls are a felony, punishable by jail-time.

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