SANDY HOOK, N.J. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says a reported explosion on a motor yacht off central New Jersey likely was a hoax and it has suspended its search and rescue mission.
Authorities received an emergency radio transmission from a boat identifying itself as the Blind Date on Monday afternoon. The caller reported the boat was 17 nautical miles east of Sandy Hook and had 21 people aboard and several people were injured.
The caller claimed the vessel sank but everyone aboard had made it to life rafts.
Coast Guard crews and New York City police helicopters found no sign of any people or any distress in the water.
Officials say the search cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to perform. An investigation is under way.
Issuing a false distress call is a federal crime.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)