CAPE MAY, N.J. - 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.
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.