27-Year Old Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Prank Calling The Coast Guard!

By: Joseph Simonds on February 27, 2016
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man sentenced to prison for prank calling coast guard

If you take away one thing from this blog post, let it be this…

Don’t ever prank call the Coast Guard! (or any law enforcement or rescue team for that matter)

In all seriousness, any type of prank call (or even a misleading call) to the U.S. Coast Guard could lead to you spending time in prison. Not to mention, some nasty fines.

Here is the somewhat recent sentencing from a prank call to the Coast Guard that was made in North Carolina some time ago:

27-year old Charles Dowd called in a fake Mayday call to the Coast Guard claiming that a boat was sinking with 7 people on it in the nearby Intercoastal waterway.

He even went on to tell the Coast Guard in his prank call that there was a young child on board the sinking boat and that he could no longer see the child…


Of course, the Coast Guard rushed to the location (including sending a Marine Corps rescue helicopter) only to find out that the Mayday call was a prank.

Mr. Dowd was recently sentenced to 3 years and 5 months behind bars (in a federal prison), and he has to pay back the $19,000 it costs for the emergency rescue.

Note: This is not the first person to ever be sentenced to a federal prison for prank calling the Coast Guard. I found at least 3 other similar situations (they all involved males).

So the next time you decide to make a prank phone call, call someone besides the Coast Guard! It’s a huge waste of their valuable time, their valuable resources, and it could prevent them from saving someone’s life that is in real trouble.

More importantly, they risk the very lives of responders for cases where no actual distress exists.

Image and video from Coast Guard News

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“They all involved ‘you males'”? What’s scarier, this story or that comment?