KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the possibility that a distress call about a capsized boat off the coast of southern Maine was a hoax.
The Coast Guard initiated a 22-hour search on Saturday after a series of short distress calls from a man who claimed he and his three children had capsized 10 nautical miles off the coast of Kennebunkport, Maine.
In a public statement, the Coast Guard suspended the search Sunday after reportedly searching 1,500 square nautical miles.
The Coast Guard released a recording of the distress call and asked the public to help identify the voice to determine if it was a hoax.
"We're investigating the possibility this call may be a hoax and we're asking for the public’s assistance," said Petty Officer Ryan Noel. "If anyone has any information regarding this case, please contact us at 207-741-5478."
Asked whether or not it was strange the man in Saturday’s call neither identified himself nor his craft when asked, Noel said he could not "speculate if it’s unusual for someone to not give out their information during a distress call."
The Coast Guard also said it was too early to list what types of charges someone might face for placing a hoax distress call. It would only do that if the investigation determines the message was fake.