Coast Guard warns against fake calls

July 3, 2008 4:04:26 PM PDT
As people prepare to celebrate Independence Day on the water, the Coast Guard would like to remind them to only call for help if they have an actual life-threatening emergency.

False alarms have already been costly so far this year.

"We have wasted approximately $3.5 million of taxpayer money on searches for false distress calls and hoax mayday calls - and that's only in San Francisco Bay," a Coast Guard spokesperson said.

Phony calls make up half of the Coast Guard's emergency workload.

Officials also want to remind boaters that using fireworks is illegal on almost every boat.

The Coast Guard and local police agencies will also be enforcing laws prohibiting operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


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