Coast Guard, local agencies suspend response to mayday call near Annapolis, Md.

5th Coast Guard District News
BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard and local agencies are suspending their response Thursday afternoon to a mayday call, which is believed to have originated approximately 15 miles south of Annapolis, Md.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Baltimore command center heard a mayday broadcast on VHF-FM Ch. 16 at approximately 6:30 p.m. Wednesday followed by another broadcast shortly thereafter.

The watchstanders were able to narrow the areas from where the calls originated to the Choptank River and Herring Bay.

Sector Baltimore watchstanders dispatched crews from Coast Guard Station Oxford to the Choptank River and crews from Coast Guard Station Annapolis to Herring Bay.

Crews from Maryland Natural Resources Police also responded to both searches while crews from Talbot County and Dorchester County joined the search at the Choptank River area and Anne Arundel County, and Calvert County assisted with the Herring Bay search.

USCG file photo

USCG file photo

A Maryland State Police helicopter crew aided both searches last night and a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.

“Yesterday’s mayday was received without the caller providing critical details, such as a position or the type of distress situation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Stanley, a watchstander at the Sector Baltimore command center. “That type of call is considered an uncorrelated distress. Regardless of how much or how little information is passed during a call, the Coast Guard treats every mayday call as a legitimate distress and responds accordingly. Between the Coast Guard and our state and local partners, we use any and every means necessary to try to locate the caller. We will do this until we know that all available efforts have been exhausted.”

Search efforts of both areas by all agencies covered approximately 180 square miles over a 12-hour period.

“This case is still considered an uncorrelated distress call but has been suspended due to the time and effort that went into the response,” said Stanley. “There has been no additional information regarding a missing boater or overdue vessel to warrant additional searches. It is very important that the boating community understands the amount of time and money that goes into these searches. Not only time and money, but the risk to our personnel due to the nature of the job and the risk to people who might actually be in distress.”

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