Local Coast Guard warns of jail time, hefty fines after hoax mayday calls

Local Coast Guard warns of jail time, hefty fines after hoax mayday calls

Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

The Coast Guard has issued a new warning after it received what were believed to be two false mayday calls in Western Washington Sunday.

Officials said that at 5:05 p.m., a child’s voice was heard over VHF–FM radio Channel 16 saying that his boat was on fire and sinking.

"Oh, my boat is sinking, and it's on fire too! Help! Help! Help!. Oh my God, my boat is dying,” the voice said. [Listen to the call at the bottom of this story.]

Content Continues Below

The Coast Guard said numerous other transmissions were heard but were unintelligible.  One transmission was recorded as "Shut up you filthy animal." Officials said the call was placed from an on-land position near the Everett Marina.

When a Coast Guard watchstander asked for more information, the call stopped.

Another false mayday call was heard at 6:58 p.m., with a child's voice saying, "Mayday, mayday this is India Golf Nine-er Nine-er Ligma Ligma."

Previous calls from the same voice and location were vulgar, and laughter and other children were heard in the background. The calls were found to have been placed from an on-land position on Whidbey Island.

Again, after a Coast Guard watchstander requested more information, the calls stopped.

A person can face up to six years in prison, a $250,000 criminal fine, a $5,000 civil fine and reimbursement to the Coast Guard for the cost of performing a search if found guilty of making false mayday calls.

Both calls are embedded in video windows below.

A false mayday call is heard by watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle, March 17, 2019. Rescue 21 towers triangulated the call coming from an on-land position near Everett Marina.
U.S. Coast Guard audio by Sector Puget Sound

A false mayday call is heard by watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle, March 17, 2019. Rescue 21 towers triangulated the calls coming from an on-land position near Whidbey Island. U.S. Coast Guard audio by Sector Puget Sound.