It's going to be hot this weekend, and many will probably be heading out onto the waterways to enjoy the sun. The U.S. Coast Guard responds to thousands of calls each year for distressed boaters, but what about the ones that are fake?
Someone in Maryland has made 28 fake calls in two years, according to the Coast Guard, and they need help finding out who it is.
"When you first told me, it sent, like, a chill through my system," said Clifton Lewis, a resident of the area near Loretta Heights and Admiral Heights, where the Coast Guard believes the calls are emanating from.
A male voice can be heard on a tape provided to ABC2 by the Coast Guard.
It's cost countless hours of wasted manpower, and more, said Lt. Cmdr. Sara Wallace.
"It also puts our crews at risk for going out there for a case that's not real," she said.
The Coast Guard said first call came in July 2014, and have continued since. However, the frequency is escalating, culminating most recently with two calls just Thursday night, Wallace said.
Wallace said each time the Coast Guard responds to one of the calls, they send out a rescue boat and get help from local assets. The effort has cost over $500,000 to the Coast Guard, alone, over the entirety of the two years.
"You're making a decision - are you going to launch or not launch? If we divert and send assets out on scene for him, we're taking assets from someone else who could actually be in distress," Wallace said.
"It's really sad that a person is taking that much time just to play prank games," said Lewis. "It's just honestly ridiculous that a person just can take that much time and think of things to do to waste other peoples time."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Maryland-NCR Command Center at 410-576-2525 or Coast Guard Investigative Service Baltimore at CGIS-Baltimore@uscg.mil.