Atlantic Beach Man Sentenced For Making False Distress Calls

A North Carolina man is heading to federal prison for making false distress calls to the U.S. Coast Guard, triggering a massive search for a sinking boat that didn't exist.

Homer Lewis Blackburn was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to serve 18 months in prison and pay $288,000 in restitution.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty in May to using a CB radio mounted to the balcony of his Atlantic Beach apartment to make "mayday" calls claiming he was abandoning a sinking boat near Cape Lookout. Blackburn then watched from his home as helicopters and boats sped out to attempt a rescue.

Blackburn was arrested after a female acquaintance told authorities he bragged about making the false calls. He later admitted guilt, telling investigators he thought it was funny.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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