Coast Guard Seeks Assist, Hoax Maydays Endanger Lives

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Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England command center received a radio distress call Saturday at 10:30 a.m. from a man reporting his boat capsizing with 3 children on onboard. The Coast Guard lost radio communications with the distress caller but had conducted a 22-hour search.

The United States Coast Guard and local rescue crews responded to a report that a small boat, carrying a man and three children, had capsized off the coast of Maine on Saturday.

The rescue crews searched for 22 hours and more than 1,500 square nautical miles off in the water off Kennebunkport, Maine, but found nothing.

Capt. Brian Lefebvre
Capt. Brian Lefebvre

The Coast Guard is asking for the public’s assistance for information related to the missing boaters from Saturday’s distress call, including the possibility of the report being a hoax.

“We are asking for the public’s assistance in determining the source of the calls and the nature of the distress,” explained Capt. Brian Lefebvre, the commander for Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, in a statement on Tuesday.

“Additional information may aid in our closure of the case and offer a degree of finality to the many rescuers who dedicated their time and effort toward this search effort.”

According to the Coast Guard, the radio distress call came in around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday from a man who reported his boat had capsized about 10 nautical miles off the coast of Kennebunkport.

“I’m going to try and get the kids on the boat, on the top of the boat, lift them up, if possible,” the man says calmly in the mayday call, released by the Coast Guard.

“If not, we’re all going to just huddle in the water.”

(The Fifth Coast Guard District, warns of hoax calls. Courtesy of WAVY TV 10 and YouTube.)

The Coast Guard said it lost radio communications with the caller and conducted a search of with local agencies on Saturday and Sunday, which included teams from Coast Guard Station South Portland, Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor, Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.

The search was suspended Sunday around 8 a.m. “pending new information.”

“We take all calls for help seriously,” Cdr. James McLay, the Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator at Sector Northern New England, said in a statement Sunday.

“We utilized every resource at our disposal and applied an extraordinary amount of search effort to locate these boaters.

If there was anyone in distress we gave them the best possible chance for rescue.”

If you have any information about the distress call, is being asked to contact Sector Northern New England at 207-741-5478.

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