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Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service New York received a distress call on VHF channel 14 at approximately 4:20 p.m., Monday, June 11, 2012, reportedly from the master of the yacht Blind Date, stating the vessel suffered an explosion and was taking on water.
This call prompted a Coast Guard search with multiple aircraft and surface vessels, joined by aircraft and surface vessels from other agencies. The search was suspended at approximately 10 p.m. Monday, and the Coast Guard made the determination that the call was a probable hoax.
On this call to the Coast Guard, and another, the caller in reported distress gave varying numbers for people aboard the yacht and varying numbers for dead and injured.
The reporting source stated that he was going to stay by the radio as long as he could, but the vessel lost power so he had to move to a solar-powered radio. He gave a position of 17.5 miles east of Sandy Hook, N.J.
The probable hoax call is under investigation. The Coast Guard is offering a $ 3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible for making the false distress call. Anyone with information regarding this probable hoax is encouraged to anonymously contact the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service at 212-668-7048 or 646-872-5774.