Man wanted for making threats over coast guard radio channel

Death threats and fake mayday calls to the U.S. Coast Guard in Southwest Florida are putting people’s safety and tax dollars at risk. The agency needs help finding a man who won’t stop calling.

An unknown man somewhere off the Gulf Coast is accused of making threats directly over the U.S. Coast Guard radio channel, which means he’s tying up the radios where people call in for real emergencies.

“Next time I see one of your planes in the air, I’m going to shoot that plane down and kill the pilot and the passengers,” the U.S. Coast Guard shared the recorded threat over its radio channel.

Hoax calls like the one recorded take up valuable resources, especially when people out on the waster actually need help.

“Heaven forbid something real happens, we need people on the spot,” said Captain Craig Stransky of Sea Tow. “It makes them a little more hesitant to go out I think.

The coast guard takes all calls received seriously.

“When you’re on the water, you really need help when you need it,” said Todd Murray, who boats with his family frequently. “You can’t just walk to a gas station.”

And responses to hoaxes or threats can be expensive, something that directly affects taxpayer money. These hoaxes can cost thousands of dollars. In 2015, a prank call of a sunken ship off Fort Myers Beach cost taxpayers more than $150,000.

“Somebody taking advantage of that is just ridiculous,” Murray said.

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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