Coast Guard seeks tips for threatening radio broadcast

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard is seeking information regarding a person making threats and hoax calls on marine band radio off the gulf coast of Florida.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center received the latest threat on Aug. 13, 2019 via VHF channel 22A.

In this call, the male caller makes threats against the Coast Guard personnel, aircrafts and vessels. The broadcast sounds like the same person who has made other radio broadcasts that start with MAYDAY three times and then talks about, “scrambling all jets we are under nuclear attack.”

Penalties for making false distress calls and hoaxes can include up to 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines, plus the cost of the search.

“Hoax calls are costly to the taxpayer and our service,” said Charles ‘Marty’ Russell, resident agent-in-charge of the Coast Guard Investigative Service office in St. Petersburg. “When the Coast Guard receives a distress call, we immediately respond, putting our crews at risk, and risking the lives of boaters who may legitimately need our help.”

If anyone has information leading to the identification of a hoax caller, please contact the Coast Guard Investigative Service St. Petersburg at (727) 535-1437 extension 2308.


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