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Distress call spurs Coast Guard search off NJ

June 18, 2012
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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.

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