Gloucester man fined for shooting flares when not in distress

BOSTON- The Coast Guard has fined a Gloucester, Mass., man who was shooting flares even though he was not in distress on July 4, 2010.

Coast Guard Station Gloucester was able to identify the man, who was fined 180 dollars when he admitted to wrongfully setting off the flares.

The Coast Guard takes false distress calls very seriously and actively pursues those who make them. The person responsible can be ordered to pay restitution to the government in an amount equal to that spent on responding to the hoax, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 6 years in prison.

Hoax distress calls put responding Coast Guard crews in unnecessary danger and divert limited resources from responding to legitimate emergencies.

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