Rockland Man Charged With Making Bogus Mayday Call For Help
Score a big one for the United States Coast Guard!
According to a U.S. Coast Guard press release, Nathan Libby of Rockland has been charged with making a false distress call via VHF-FM radio channel 16.
Back on December 3rd, we told you that a mayday call for help was received by the Coast Guard that a vessel was supposedly in distress off the coast of Spruce Head, which is just south of South Thomaston in Knox County.
The call's audio was posted to Twitter by USCGNortheast, and sounded like a young man in his 20s or 30s calling out "Mayday", and stating that the boat had lost it's rudder and was taking on water. The man then says that the pumps can't keep up with it and that the vessel would try to make it to Atwood's. Atwood Lobster Company is located on Island Road in South Thomaston.
Because of the call, crews from the U.S. Coast Guard in Rockland, a helicopter from the Coast Guard station in Cape Cod, and the Maine Marine Patrol spent more than five hours searching in vain.
Now, because of the combined efforts of the Rockland Police Department, the Coast Guard Investigative Services division, the Department of Justice and the Maine Marine Patrol, Nathan Libby faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
"Our Coast Guard rescue crews thrive on taking risks for the sake of helping others in trouble on the water," said Captain Brian LeFebvre, who is the commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. "Calls like this hoax call, unnecessarily put our rescue crews at ricks, drain resources, and may limit our ability to respond to actual emergencies."