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Old 22-10-2011, 04:35   #1
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Fake Distress Calls

Detroit man gets prison in hoax Coast Guard call | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

It really pisses me off when people do this not only is it a huge waste of taxpayer dollars it leads to hours of annoying CG Pan pan messages on 16.

We had four of these in my area this summer. You can always tell it is a hoax, the one time you could hear some little kid's voice say mayday mayday very softly and then him and his friends snickering in the background. This lead to 6 hours of search and rescue. Shame.
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Old 22-10-2011, 05:07   #2
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Re: Fake distress calls

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
Detroit man gets prison in hoax Coast Guard call | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

It really pisses me off when people do this not only is it a huge waste of taxpayer dollars it leads to hours of annoying CG Pan pan messages on 16.

We had four of these in my area this summer. You can always tell it is a hoax, the one time you could hear some little kid's voice say mayday mayday very softly and then him and his friends snickering in the background. This lead to 6 hours of search and rescue. Shame.
Wonder how they found out it was him. I've heard a few fake mayday calls while cruising, or ones where just mayday is heard and then no further response to the coast guard, but certainly never heard kids joking on the vhf.

I can't quite figure out why someone would do such a thing.
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Old 22-10-2011, 05:10   #3
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Re: Fake distress calls

People who don't spend time on the water get a radio in their hands and it's the only thing they've heard said into a radio. Monkey see monkey do. Ignorance is expensive.
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Old 22-10-2011, 05:43   #4
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Re: Fake distress calls

The article mentioned a different man convicted of a hoax emergency call -- he used his girlfriend's cell phone!

For the less-inept hoaxers, I assume the CG has some sort of VHF triangulation on a sustained signal.
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Old 22-10-2011, 09:56   #5
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Re: Fake distress calls

yes they do. every time there is one in maine they go around asking anyone who has heard the transmission to radio in and give them their location and antenna height. they do this not just to catch the bad guys but to find the good guys. I'm sure Gord has the formula for triangulation.
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Old 22-10-2011, 10:10   #6
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Re: Fake distress calls

I once heard a fake call while in California.
It was a teenage sounding and announced with an upward sounding voice starting quietly and ending with an almost musical note:

"Mmmmmmmmmmmayday??

It was followed by a weary response from the Coast Guard.
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Old 22-10-2011, 10:22   #7
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Re: Fake distress calls

The main problem with fake calls is that it takes away from the ability to respond to real calls.

I heard a story a few years ago of a child making a call. Apparently it was assumed to be fake and was not followed up. It turns out it was real, the childs father was lost overboard and ultimitly the boat the child was on crashed up on a breakwater with the child and father both lost.t
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:02   #8
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Re: Fake distress calls

While not a fake distress call I did hear a fella making "radio check" calls on 16 one day with very slurred speech. He was at it off and on for 90 minutes. After the last one someone asked if he was the white boat anchored near whatever. He said yes. In response the other person said "This is the US Coast Guard, prepare to be boarded."

I just chuckled.
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:10   #9
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Re: Fake distress calls

False MAYDAYS = PUBLIC EXECUTION????
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:12   #10
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Re: Fake distress calls

I was in New York Harbor and I heard a fake Mayday call of a boat being grounded near the Statue of Liberty. Coast Guard and NYPD responded. The callers (some Brooklyn da da dahs) played it up but, I also heard one of them giggle. I know they were not giggling after the Coast Guard nailed them in another location. I just let out a loud YESsss! When I heard they got busted. This was pre 9/11 I bet they'd have them on camera before they even fire up the engines on the Coast Guard boat these days.
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:41   #11
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Re: Fake distress calls

We heard one a couple weeks ago in corpus. We could tell it was a drunk mexican. (accent and how he said it) The coast guard asked for everyones location and antenna height. A big tanker behind us in the ship channel told the coast guard it was me in distress and that kinda pissed me off. I have no idea why he did that. We were just fine but moving very slow. No wind almost and had the pole out on the jib but we were just fine. I told the coast guard our position, name and antenna height and that it was not us. As strong as the signal was on my friends handheld the call had to have been within sight of us but it was just us and the tanker out there. I know it was a prank. They had boats and helicopters out for 3 days because of that!
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:53   #12
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Re: Fake distress calls

We were returning late at night from our last trip and someone fired two parachute flares from the San Pedro breakwater and just as the second flare went off and we were debating what to do I saw a port police boat headed towards the flares. When we got into the harbor itself another port police RID came alongside and we talked. I told them what we saw and they explained that it was a false alarm and that they and the coast guard were trying to find the jerks who were somwhere on the breakwall.
What concerned me was that we were w/o engine and it put us in a really tough spot because while we were obligated to help it would have put us in jepordy so we were really torn and I felt like crap because in the end we knew the best we could do was make a radio call. I was very happy to see those blue lights.
These fools not only waste rescuers time but potentially bring risk to other boaters who have an obligation to help.
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Old 22-10-2011, 16:08   #13
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Re: Fake distress calls

I once heard a call on winter night off the coast of Maine while doing a delivery:" "Mayday please to send us a save" Thick accent and no response from any one except the CG. Tuns out it was a Portuguese comercial fishing boat that was sinking fast. Coasties asked if any other lights could be seen,when the Porrtuguese responded that they could see numerous other fishing lights the rradio then crackled with many responders. I guess all listening to these transmissions were hoping they would not have to go to the rescue.
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Old 22-10-2011, 20:15   #14
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Re: Fake distress calls

No fake calls here but Chinese and Russian fishermen regularly using CH 16 for making "fun" ...

b.
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Old 22-10-2011, 21:05   #15
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Re: Fake distress calls

My fear is noone would help if we ever needed it. In the navy we never left anyone in the water. At least on the ships I was on and even in a hurricane when we lost someone over we turned around to look for them on a tin can. The seas were taller than our mast! I've seen one sailboat aground in much shallower water than I could get to in ours and power boats just cruising on by. It's sad. People were going by last time I ran aground too. It was an idiot in a motor yacht and in a no wake zone that blew me off and I'm sure it wasn't intentional. People just have no sense of decency anymore.
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