Rockland Man who Made Hoax Mayday Call Ordered to Pay Restitution
A Rockland man who made a hoax mayday call, claiming that his boat was sinking, is ordered to pay restitution for the resulting search.
Coast Guard officials reported receiving a distress call on December 3, 2020, in which the caller said that his rudder was broken on his boat and that the dewatering pump couldn't keep up with the flooding. It was later determined that the call, made by Nathan Libby of Rockland, was a hoax.
You can hear the mayday call here.
Before they realized it was a fake, however, a search was launched which included 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 was assumed to have been a hoax, but not before searchers covered 62 square nautical miles. Compounding the frustration of marine officials was the fact that this call came in just a week after 4 sailors were lost on the vessel 'Emmy Rose.'
At the time of Libby's arrest, Captain Brian Lefebvre, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Northern New England, expressed frustration at these types of calls.
Calls like this hoax call - unnecessarily put our rescue crews at risk, drain resources, and may limit our ability to respond to actual emergencies.
Libby was charged in July and faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He was in court on Wednesday, where he received a sentence of time already served, with no additional jail time. In addition, WABI-TV reports he's ordered to pay $17,500 in restitution to the U.S. Coast Guard.