Maine man charged with false distress call to Coast Guard

Maine man charged with false distress call to Coast Guard
ROCKLAND, MAINE — Nathan Libby, of Rockland, has been charged with making a false distress call to the Coast Guard on December 3rd, 2020 via VHF-FM radio channel 16. Based on the call, the Coast Guard initiated a search spanning more than five hours, which included the use of a local Coast Guard vessel, a Maine Marine Patrol vessel, and a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod. A criminal...

Coast Guard warns against false distress calls after suspected hoax

Coast Guard warns against false distress calls after suspected hoax
Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo by Auxiliarist Joseph Feldman. BOSTON — The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday for a vessel and crew reportedly taking on water in the vicinity of Sprucehead, Maine, after multiple searches yielded no findings or correlating information. At approximately 6:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Northern New England watchstanders received a mayday transmission...

Coast Guard seeks tips for threatening radio broadcast

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...

Coast Guard seeks public’s help to identify false-distress caller in Los Angeles and Orange County

Coast Guard seeks public's help to identify false-distress caller in Los Angeles and Orange County
SAN PEDRO, Calif. — The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help Thursday in finding a person who has made eight suspected false distress calls to the Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center since January 3. The male caller communicates “Mayday” repeatedly through VHF-FM radio transmissions. “Coast Guard operations are inherently dangerous and our servicemembers face risks...

Coast Guard experiences spike in suspected hoax distress cases in NC, Va.

Coast Guard experiences spike in suspected hoax distress cases in NC, Va.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Coast Guard command centers in North Carolina and Virginia experienced an increase in suspected hoax distress calls in November. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Wilmington and Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth typically notice a spike in the amount of traffic on VHF-FM channel 16 during the late fall, as well as an increase in suspected false distress...

Chicago woman sentenced for making hoax distress call in 2013

Chicago woman sentenced for making hoax distress call in 2013
CHICAGO – A Chicago woman was sentenced in federal court Thursday for making a false distress call nearly two years ago which led to several agencies launching a dangerous search and rescue operation in Lake Michigan off of Rogers Park Beach. Leona Chewning, 24, was sentenced to 180 days of community confinement, three years of probation and $13,613 in restitution for knowingly and willfully...

Chicago woman pleads guilty for making hoax distress call in 2013

Chicago woman pleads guilty for making hoax distress call in 2013
CHICAGO – A Chicago woman pleaded guilty to making a false distress call nearly two years ago which led to several agencies launching a dangerous search and rescue operation in Lake Michigan off of Rogers Park Beach, the U.S. Attorney and Coast Guard announced, Thursday. Leona Chewning, 24, was charged earlier this month with one count of communicating a false distress message to the Coast...

Ormond Beach, Fla. resident paying Coast Guard full restitution for the misuse of flares

Ormond Beach, Fla. resident paying Coast Guard full restitution for the misuse of flares
Clearwater, Fla. — An Ormond Beach, Florida, resident is paying the Coast Guard full restitution for the misuse of flares from a February 2014 incident in St. Petersburg, Florida. On Nov. 30, Sean C. Moran made his first payment toward the $12,752.35 that he must reimburse the Coast Guard for the cost of responding to his false distress signal. Moran agreed to pay the restitution as well as abstain...

District Attorney’s Office, Coast Guard announce false distress guilty plea

District Attorney's Office, Coast Guard announce false distress guilty plea
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced a Gloucester woman pleaded guilty Monday to making a false distress call. Ashley Strum-Smith, 29, pleaded guilty to a criminal information filed May 27 in United States District Court. Strum-Smith faces a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and $82,764 in restitution...