Yacht Explosion: According to the Coast Guard, the whole story was nothing more than a very expensive hoax. Last night, an emergency call came across the line that claimed a boat had exploded off the New Jersey coast, forcing all 21 passengers to abandoned ship. Although there were no reported fatalities, nine individuals reportedly suffered serious burns. The New York City Police, along with the Coast Guard and emergency services, rushed to the scene. All in all, over 200 people had amassed to help the survivors of this horrific accident.
Authorities spent hours looking for the wreckage of Blind Date, the vessel that had reportedly exploded. When no wreckage from the boat could be found, officials became skeptical. Their concerns about the legitimacy of the report were compounded by the fact that they couldn't locate any of the survivors, who were supposedly floating around on life rafts. Finally, after wasting a considerable amount of time searching the area for the boat and its passengers, the Coast Guard called off the rescue mission.
Turns out, the whole thing was just a hoax.
Kenneth Pierro, commander of the Coast Guard Sector New York, was none too pleased about the situation. "More than 200 first responders assembled mass casualty receptions areas in Newark, and Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook, N.J., preparing to receive the reported injured passengers," he explained. "This case is now being investigated as a possible hoax call."
In an effort to track down the individual responsible for making the call, authorities are offering a $3,000 reward for information resulting in the prosecution of the hoaxer. Making false distress calls is a felony, and could land the perpetrator in prison for five to ten years.