Coast Guard responds to mayday transmission

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard responded to a mayday transmission for a vessel taking on water in the vicinity of Kennewick, Wash., today.

Coast Guard Sector Portland received a mayday transmission from a 19-foot green vessel reporting that it was taking on water with three people on board in the vicinity of Kennewick near the Pasco-Kennewick Cable Bridge at 11:00 a.m. Shortly after receiving this information, Sector Portland lost communications with the vessel.

Coast Guard Sector Portland put out an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to vessels in the area.

Coast Guard Air Station Astoria launched an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew as well as a small boat crew from Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) Kennwick.

The helicopter crew conducted an aerial search of the area with no results.

ANT Kennewick queried vessels in the area with no results.

The Coast Guard reminds individuals that false distress calls place unnecessary risk on would-be rescuers and interfere with legitimate search and rescue cases. False calls also cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. It costs approximately $1,200 per hour to operate a Coast Guard 47-foot motor lifeboat, while a helicopter or larger cutter may cost from $9,000 to $12,000 an hour. Captain Mark D’Andrea, Chief of Response for the United States Coast Guard’s Thirteenth District, stated: “False distress calls not only cost taxpayers money and place Coast Guard members at increased personal risk, but more importantly, they divert limited resources from mariners who are in actual distress.”

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