Rockland Man Accused of Making Bogus Mayday Call to Coast Guard
A Rockland man is facing charges for allegedly making a fake mayday call that resulted in a search by the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard officials say Nathan Libby of Rockland is charged with making a false distress call on December 3rd. The caller indicated that the rudder was broken on his vessel and that the boat's dewatering pump couldn't keep up with the flooding. A search was launched and spanned more than five hours, including the use of a local Coast Guard vessel, a Maine Marine Patrol vessel, and a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod. Eventually, the search was called off and the call assumed to have been a hoax.
Hear the original distress call here.
The Coast Guard pursues all distress calls, until the situation is resolved or determined to be a hoax. This call was especially distressing to Coast Guard officials after the loss of 4 fishermen on the 'EMMY ROSE' just a week earlier.
On July 27th, a criminal complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Portland against Libby, who faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, if convicted.
Captain Brian LeFebvre, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England said their crews take risks in order to help others in trouble on the water.
"Calls like this hoax call - unnecessarily put our rescue crews at risk, drain resources, and may limit our ability to respond to actual emergencies."
This investigation was a collaboration between the Coast Guard Investigative Service, Department of Justice, Maine Marine Patrol, and the Rockland Police Department.