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Search and Rescue is NO JOKE!

"MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY!
Please help me, my boat is sinking!"

For over 200 years the U.S. Coast Guard has responded to distress calls at sea. But lately, more and more of those calls are found to be false - hoaxes sent by people looking for kicks.

In 1990, the first year we began keeping statistics on rescue hoaxes, U.S. Coast Guard units responded to 205 hoaxes. This number has increased steadily every year.

The U.S. Coast Guard, along with the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies, is very concerned about the increasing number of search and rescue hoaxes.

Hoaxes hurt everyone:

Are there penalties for issuing a false distress call? Check it out:

How much does the U.S. Coast Guard spend on its search and rescue cases? Plenty:

Is there a way you, as a law-abiding taxpayer, can help? Yes!

If you hear a hoax call, or you have information which might lead to the perpetrator of a hoax, call the nearest U.S. Coast Guard unit or contact the Federal Communications Commission.

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Last Modified 11/30/2011