MONROE (WWJ/AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has announced a $3,500 reward for help in catching a man who’s made at least 20 fake “mayday” calls on a marine radio operating in the Monroe area.
The Coast Guard’s Cleveland office says the man began calling in 2010, making claims such as that his boat is sinking. The Coast Guard is posting 15 recordings to see if anyone recognizes the man’s voice.
Lt. Justin Westmiller in Detroit says the calls could cause a disaster by diverting rescuers from a real emergency.
He says the prank caller uses marine band radio VHF-FM Channel 16. It’s the international hailing and distress frequency.
Westmiller says the calls come from the Bolles Harbor area on Lake Erie in Monroe County’s Monroe Township.
The U.S. Coast Guard asks that people with tips about the fake mayday caller to call 800-773-2587.
Anyone who carries out false distress calls is endangering everyone on the water — both the emergency responders who commence searching and the entire maritime community,” said Lt. Justin Westmiller, chief of the Coast Guard Sector Detroit Command Center.
“When rescuers are diverted on false alarms, it may impair their ability to respond to mariners who are actually in distress.”
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