WARRENTON, Ore. — The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in finding someone who has made repeated false mayday calls to the Coast Guard in the past 7 months in the vicinity of the Columbia River entrance.
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Command Center personnel has received 22 false mayday calls since April, and they are believed to be made by the same person.
“False maydays waste valuable time and resources, but most importantly it potentially puts responding personnel in danger and can interfere with legitimate search and rescue cases,” said Capt. Bill Timmons, commander, Sector Columbia River. “These false reports have to stop, so I ask anyone with a legitimate tip in locating this person or persons to step forward immediately.”
All 22 calls have come from Chinook, Washington, or anywhere between Warrenton and Seaside, Oregon.
Through a voice analysis conducted by personnel at Carnagie Mellon University – the suspect who is making these calls is believed to be a white male, 35 to 40-years old with an East Coast to Southeastern Coast accent. The analysis also puts the person at 5-feet 10-inches tall up to 6-feet tall and 190 pounds.
Information pertaining to these false maydays should be reported to the Sector Columbia River command center at 503-338-9021
The Coast Guard reminds the public that making a hoax call to the Coast Guard is a crime punishable by up to 6 years in prison; a $250,000 criminal fine, a $5,000 civil fine, and reimbursement to the Coast Guard for operating costs incurred. The hourly standard rates for Coast Guard assets can be found at Coast Guard Reimbursable Standard Rates.
If a mayday call, actual or potentially false, is heard, boaters are encouraged to contact their local Coast Guard unit and relay what they heard.