Coast Guard Investigating Potential Hoax Call Near New Bern

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The Coast Guard said multiple search and rescue boats hit the water for nearly three hours Thursday afternoon after what they now believe may have been another hoax call.

Petty Officer Adam Sansoucie said crews got a call on VHF radio at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday with only two words, "Mayday, mayday."

The Coast Guard launched a search and rescue effort with Station Hobucken and Craven County Fire and Rescue boats.

Crews said they were able to narrow the call to a line spanning the Trent and Neuse rivers and Brices Creek. Without more time on the radio frequency, Sansoucie said they could not triangulate the call to a more specified area.

The Coast Guard issued an emergency broadcast and searched the waterways, but found no boaters in distress.

Sansoucie said at this point ,the call is being investigated and crews are considering the possibility this is another hoax call.

"This seems to be happening more frequently," said Petty Officer Sansoucie.

On October 20th, the Coast Guard at Station Fort Macon said it received a distress call where apparent mariners said their boat was taking on water near Core Creek Bridge. Nothing was ever found after hours of searching.

"I just hope the people making these calls reconsider," said Sansoucie. "There are a lot of resources diverted away from what could be real calls from people who need help in a life-threatening situation."

Federal law states making a false distress call is a felony, carrying a possible sentence of six years prison time and a $250,000 fine.