New England Coast Guard warns against fake distress calls
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Coast Guard officials in New England are warning the public of the consequences of making hoax distress calls in the wake of a Maine man pleading guilty to the offense.
Coast Guard officials say they respond to an average of 12 distress calls on a typical summer day in northern New England.
They say 76 of the 464 distress calls logged in 2014 were never resolved.
The warning comes after Owen Adair pleaded guilty last week to making a hoax distress call from the shore in Vinalhaven, Maine in September.
Authorities say the seven-hour search launched in response to Adair's fake distress call involved 16 Coast Guard personal call and cost more than $30,000.
Penalties for such calls are up to six years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.