The Coast Guard is looking for a man who threatened to shoot down planes and kill guardsmen on marine band radio near Tampa Bay last month. In an audio of the marine radio threat provided by the Department of Defense, a man’s voice says, “attention, attention,” and the proceeds to threaten Coast Guard stations, vessels and personnel. The person is reported to sound similar to an individual who allegedly has made “Attention,” and “Mayday,” radio broadcasts.
The threat was received at the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center on Aug. 13. It’s not clear why it’s taken a month to release the recording. The threats may be seen as a hoax but in one radio broadcast he implies the threats he’s making are from the “Russian government.”
“Attention all Coast Guard stations, I say again, attention all Coast Guard stations. The next time you scramble any aircraft or any aircraft carrier, we’re going to bomb your (redacted expletives). You understand me? Number two, the next time you send off any aircraft or any aircraft carrier or helicopter (they’ll be) depth charges in the Gulf (of Mexico, presumably), …sink your shit. That’s number two. Number three, you’re to close (down) all airports of America otherwise I’ll drop depth charges. Number four, the next time I see one of your planes in the air, I’m gonna shoot that plane down and kill the pilot and the passengers. That’s number four. And I’m gonna take your ships all apart with our depth chargers. You are playing with the Russian government. I suggest you back the f*** off. Because if you don’t back the f*** off you’re gonna lose a lot of coast guardsmen. You understand me?”
Penalties for making false distress calls and hoaxes can include up to 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines, plus the cost of the search.
“Hoax calls are costly to the taxpayer and our service,” said Charles ‘Marty’ Russell, resident agent-in-charge of the Coast Guard Investigative Service office in St. Petersburg. “When the Coast Guard receives a distress call, we immediately respond, putting our crews at risk, and risking the lives of boaters who may legitimately need our help.”
If anyone has information leading to the identification of a hoax caller, contact the Coast Guard Investigative Service St. Petersburg at 727.535.1437 ext. 2308.