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Coast Guard Calls Off Search For Boat In Distress Off Of South Jersey coast

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Coast Guard officials have suspended a search off the southern New Jersey coast that began after the agency received a mysterious distress call on Sunday morning.

The apparent hoax came less than a week after the Coast Guard staged a massive search off Sandy Hook that was prompted by another distress call which was later labeled a hoax. That search took five hours and cost rescue agencies more than $300,000.

1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten spoke with Coast Guard Officials...


Officials say the latest search began late Sunday morning after a radio call went out stating ``Mayday, mayday, is anyone there?'' The caller apparently provided information about the vessel's location, but not precise coordinates.

A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched and searched an area about 12 miles off Cape May, but found no signs of a ship in distress.

Coast Guard officials told 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten that they do not believe that this call was a hoax.

"It does happen from time to time that we get a call and go out there and don't find anything," said Petty Officer Nick Amine.

Officials think that the caller was able to get out of trouble without help and neglected to call the Coast Guard to inform them.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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