The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for a hoax caller who made more than a dozen false distress calls in June and July.
The Coast Guard believes each of the 11 calls made June 21 and additional calls made in July came from the Seneca Creek area, according to a release from the coast guard’s Baltimore sector.
Each call involved the same male voice transmitting over VHF-FM marine radio channel 16. Cost for the searches is an estimated $15,000.
"Making false distress calls limits the Coast Guard and our rescue partners' capabilities to assist those boaters who are in actual emergency situations," Capt. Kevin Kiefer, commander of Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, said in a release. "Hoax radio calls also place first responders in unnecessary danger as they work to assist the boating public."
Placing hoax distress calls is a felony with a maximum penalty of six years in prison, a $5,000 civil fine, a $250,000 criminal fine and reimbursement to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard is offering a reward of $2,000 for information that leads to the identification of the person involved in placing these fake calls. Anyone with information can call 410-576-2696.