Guam – The US Coast Guard Sector Guam received a distress call early this morning that turned out be a hoax. According to USCG officials, a radio call came in to the joint rescue sub center at 7am where a child's voice was heard saying, "Mayday, mayday." A SH-60 helicopter was launched to investigate the call, but no indications of distress were found during the search. The search was suspended at 12pm. The Coast Guard warns that a false distress call is a felony and the penalties include prison time, criminal and civil fines, and reimbursement to the Coast Guard for costs incurred in responding to the false call.
Lt. Cmdr. Morgan Roper states, "Every Mayday call received by the Coast Guard is treated as an actual distress case. Hoax calls needlessly tie up resources that are required to maintain a high state of readiness to respond to those who truly are in distress." Radio owners are encouraged to take steps to prevent fraudulent calls by removing radios or locking them up when not in use, teaching children appropriate use, and reporting suspected hoax callers to the Coast Guard at 671-564-USCG.