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Coast Guard says mayday call near Spruce Head “probable hoax”

Officials say willfully communicating a false distress message is a felony offense.
Mayday call likely a hoax.
Mayday call likely a hoax.(WABI)
Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 9:00 AM EST
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SPRUCE HEAD, Maine (WABI) - The Coast Guard said it has called off its search for three fishermen in the water off the Maine coast because the mayday call was likely a hoax.

Coast Guard officials said they received the mayday call at about 6:35 a.m. Thursday.

The Coast Guard originally sent crews from its Rockland Station and air station in Cape Cod to search the water just south of Spruce Head in Knox County.

The crew told the Coast Guard that the boat was taking on water and they were in the process of putting on survival suits before entering the water.

The Coast Guard said the crew also told them they were trying to reach Atwood’s Lobster.

The Cost Guard says they covered approximately 62 square nautical miles and did not find any correlating information.

Captain Brian LeFebvre says these calls unnecessarily put their crews at risk and limit their ability to respond to actual emergencies.

Officials say willfully communicating a false distress message is a felony offense.

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