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Author Topic: $45,292.78 for a false distress call  (Read 2035 times)
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jack1747
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« on: December 20, 2008, 10:17:55 AM »

From -> Daybreakfishing Forum http://www.daybreakfishing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2598

A U.S. district judge sentenced a Newport, N.C., man 60 months probation Tuesday and the court imposed restitution in the amount of $45,292.78 for a false distress call that resulted in search and rescue efforts from multiple agencies.

On Sept. 20, 2007, Joe D. Mills, Jr., used a handheld VHF radio from his front yard to fraudulently report a vessel taking on water to Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. The distress call was recorded and specifically referenced the Coast Guard. Coast Guard watchstanders could not reach Mills after he made the call and $45,000 worth of Coast Guard resources were used searching for him. Local fire and rescue also spent significant resources.

An investigation was launched after the vessel was not found and Coast Guard Investigative Services personnel determined the distress call was a hoax.

Maritime, hoax distress calls place unnecessary risk on the rescuers responding to the calls and interfere with legitimate search and rescue cases, which cost the American taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

According to Section 303 of the U.S. Communications Act passed in 1934, any radio operator, whether at home, on a boat or in a business, is required to allow an FCC agent to inspect his radio equipment at any time. To deny this could result in a maximum fine of $7,000. The Studds Act was also passed in November 1990. This act states that a false distress call is a class D Felony, and a convicted hoax caller is subject to a fine of up to $250,000 and up to six years in prison. The caller might also have to reimburse the Coast Guard for the cost of the search. The caller is also subject to an FCC civil fine of up to $8,000.

If a hoax caller is not caught the taxpayers pay the cost of the search. Coast Guard C-130 aircraft cost about $4,244 an hour to operate, Coast Guard helicopters cost about $4,400 an hour, Coast Guard cutters cost about $1,550 an hour to operate and Coast Guard small boats also cost between $300 to $400 an hour to run.

The Coast Guard needs the assistance of the public to reduce hoax calls. This can be done by:

* Removing radios or locking them up when not in use

* Teach children that unauthorized use puts people in danger

* Report suspect hoaxers; U.S. Coast Guard Tip line 1-800-264-5980

All calls are confidential. Tipsters can remain anonymous if they choose.

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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 11:29:12 AM »

good that they got him ............sad world Angry
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 03:01:13 PM »

Hopefully they use the term 'man' loosely here. Any 'man' that would do something like this isn't much of a man in my opinion. How can someone risk someone elses life like that for no reason? Not cool!!!  Angry Angry Angry
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 04:35:51 PM »

Hopefully they use the term 'man' loosely here. Any 'man' that would do something like this isn't much of a man in my opinion. How can someone risk someone elses life like that for no reason? Not cool!!!  Angry Angry Angry
Unfortunately it happens all to often.  People do dumb things all the time.  The CG had to pull a lady out of the water by the CBBT just recently.  Fell out of her Kayak, No PFD.  Police on the bridge happened to spot her.
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 11:11:08 PM »

Some years ago a false distress was broadcast the same time a real distress signal was sent by a FV in deep sh*t south of Martha's vineyard ma. The false signal was stronger than the real one and drowned out the real distress call. USCG group woods hole sent lifesaving resources to the bogus location obviously to no avail. The FV that broadcast the real distress signal sank south of nomans island and the four men on board, all with families, lost their lives. People who send out false distress signals for kicks should be put in deep,dark,little holes for a very,very long time.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 07:36:31 PM by robc22 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 01:21:22 PM »

Glad they caught the piece of shiz  Angry I think they should add interest and points to the fine and if he doesn't pay it he should get a nice long jail sentence to think about it.That is life and death he was fooling with like some kind of idiot!
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