The U.S. Coast Guard released a statement last week indicating their no-nonsense attitude towards people who “cry wolf,” or place calls of distress when there really is no emergency.
This comes after a woman placed a distress call to the Coast Guard on Labor Day night, begging them to listen to her because she had a “mayday” along the coast of Tiburon.
After a widespread search that spanned from the Richmond Bridge to Angel Island and required a helicopter and two Coast Guard boats to conduct, search crews suspended their search the following morning.
Since Coast Guard officials were unable to reach the caller using tracking technology and couldn’t find any signs of distress, the agency has come to the conclusion that the call was a hoax. If this is the case, the caller could receive up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“Boaters should know that calling mayday over Channel 16 is similar to calling 911,” the Coast Guard stated. “The concern is that someone could die during a real emergency because the rescue crews were searching a false distress.”