The U.S. Coast Guard has seen an uptick in the number of fake distress calls it has received in recent months and is looking to counter the problem with voice recognition technology, the Verge reported. Tasked with law enforcement and search and rescue missions in both domestic and international waters, fielding prank calls has become costly for the Coast Guard since it has to respond by deploying aircraft and clearing airspace for its mission. In response to the pranks, which have been happening nearly every day in recent months, the Coast Guard is planning to adopt voice recognition software to identify the phony callers. The fake calls come in through the Coast Guard's VHF radio channel, essentially the maritime version of 911. Unlike a typical phone call, the radio communications do not have any identifying information like a phone number -- and tracking the source of the transmission presents a number of challenges.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 6 are here. Check out what's clicking on FoxNews.com A man and three children remained missing Sunday off the coast of Maine after a Coast Guard search failed to find them or their capsized boat. The search covered 1,523 nautical miles and was called off by the Coast Guard around 8 a.m. "We take all calls for help seriously," Coast Guard search-and-rescue mission coordinator Cmdr.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Jan. 1 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com Five people are missing after a crabbing vessel sank off the coast of the Alaskan peninsula overnight Tuesday. Two other people have been rescued since the F/V (Fishing Vessel) Scandies Rose sank near Sutwik Island in the Gulf of Alaska, according to the United States Coast Guard. A mayday call was heard around 10 p.m. local time, according to Seattle Fox affiliate Q13.
Twenty-eight calls for help in the past two years have sent the Coast Guard scrambling off the Maryland coast -- but in each case the call turned out to be a hoax that originated from the same person. The Coast Guard said in a press release Friday that it has spent 500,000 responding to the fake distress calls. "It could cause the potential loss of life for someone else who really is in harm's way," Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Each call involved the same male voice and used an emergency radio channel. The hoaxer has been making the calls since July 2014.