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New Jersey Yacht Explosion Believed to be Hoax

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A distress call that went out yesterday off Sandy Hook, New Jersey regarding an exploding yacht is now believed to be a hoax. The call, which claimed 21 people needed immediate evacuation off of a boat called Blind Date, remains unsubstantiated after Coast Guard and emergency crews from two states could find no evidence of any explosion. Rescue missions such as the one launched yesterday are dangerous and can cost taxpayers upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also, placing a fake distress call is a felony offense punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. So, uuhhhhh, nice prank? If it was a hoax—and let's remember that's the best we can hope for—I hope it was worth their while, because it might end up being worth a very long while, in jail.

Members of Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook, New Jersey, call out directions during a heavy-weather man-overboard drill off the coast of New Jersey on January 8, 2009. Photograph taken by Petty Officer Seth Johnson.
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See a news report about the hoax here

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See some related photos here