Playing joke on Coast Guard is deadly game

Although it’s altogether unclear why, but people are apparently playing practical jokes on the U.S. Coast Guard and other Great Lakes shoreline law enforcement agencies this summer in far larger numbers than in previous years.

According to a Coast Guard press release, the number of fabricated distress calls for assistance has skyrocketed to date this summer.

More than 160 bogus calls have been received so far, more than triple the number typically received.

Capt. Joseph McGilley of the Coast Guard’s Cleveland-based Great Lakes stated the obvious when he noted the hoax calls put lives at risk because resources that could be dispatched to a bonafide emergency are tied up answering faked calls for help.

Things have gotten so bad that the Coast Guard has put the word out that anyone using the telephone or marine radio to make a fake distress call will be subject to prosecution, with maximum penalties of up to six years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

This is one of those no brainers we address on this page from time to time. Just don’t do it. Period.

The life you save just may end up being your own or someone you care about.

Mining Journal (Marquette)