I can't begin to imagine what sort of a human being is behind the New Jersey yacht explosion hoax. Who would do such a thing? If you haven't heard about this incredibly insane crime, get ready a seriously bizarre story: Yesterday the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call from a man posing as the captain of a luxury yacht who claimed there had been an explosion on board and that his boat was sinking off the coast of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
Expecting mass casualties, the Coast Guard deployed over 200 responders and a fleet of helicopters and boats into the Atlantic Ocean ... only to find, after hours of searching, that there was no yacht. There had been no explosion. The "captain," whoever he was, made the entire story up. But why?? Why would anybody do something like that?! And the creepiest part is the "hoaxter" wasn't a kid pulling a dumb prank or some kind of raving nonsensical lunatic.
The Coast Guard believed this was a real distress call because the guy actually had enough nautical knowledge to sound convincing.
In recordings released of the dispatches, the man can be heard saying:
We have three deceased, nine injured. We've had an explosion on-board that's why we're taking on water. I'm in about three-and-a-half feet of water on the bridge right now.
His story then changed:
We have 21 souls on-board, 20 in the water right now. I'm going to stay on the radio for as long as I can before I have to go overboard.
His final message (the creepiest one) was cut eerily short:
I'm dealing with second and third degree…
Of course the hundreds of rescue workers setting up mass-casualty reception areas back on land expected second and third degree burns.
"This person put the public at risk and put our first responders at risk. It's always dangerous to launch a helicopter over the Atlantic for a search. More importantly, we diverted several first responders in the area ... from actual search and rescue areas to look for a vessel that had not actually sunk," said Coast Guard Capt. Gregory P. Hitchen.
What a shame. What a waste!
The Coast Guard is offering a reward of $3,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person who made the call, who faces a maximum of 5 to 10 years in prison (faking a distress call is a felony), a $250,000 fine, and a reimbursement to the government for the cost of the search (an estimated $88,000).
Hopefully whoever did this will be paying the price -- literally -- very soon.
Why do you think somebody would fake a distress call to the Coast Guard?
Image via ABC