Yakutat man fined for making false distress call

Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Yakutat man was sentenced Tuesday to five months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $40,000 for making a false distress call to the Coast Guard.

Arnold Williams, 39, called the Coast Guard in Juneau on July 24, 2001 to report that a boat was sinking with three people southwest of Yakutat. The transmission continued for approximately four hours, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Anchorage.

A Coast Guard helicopter from Sitka began searching for the boat, but no one was found. The helicopter crew pinpointed the position of the radio call and determined that it came from Yakutat.

Yakutat residents provided the Village Public Safety Office with information regarding the location and source of the call after recognizing Williams' voice over the radio.

Williams was indicted on one count of making a false distress call. He pleaded guilty on April 3.

Williams will be incarcerated in federal prison. The court also imposed a three years of supervised release.



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