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San Diego Man Charged For Faking Mayday Calls

— A federal indictment unsealed Thursday accuses Sean Berry of falsely broadcasting that he was in trouble in open water.

Coast Guard Patrol Boat Petrel (WPB 87350) anchored in the middle of San Diego harbor. The Coronado Bridge is in the background.
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Above: Coast Guard Patrol Boat Petrel (WPB 87350) anchored in the middle of San Diego harbor. The Coronado Bridge is in the background.

The first incident reportedly happened in 2007. The indictment says he falsely transmitted that he was bailing water out of his boat and he was in trouble.

The charges also accuse him of sending the international Mayday signal three more times. Once in 2008, again in 2010 and finally in January of last year.

Prosecutors arrested Berry earlier this week. They said false distress signals are not a joke and the action put lives at risk. They said fake distress calls can keep rescuers from responding to a real emergency in a timely manner.

Berry faces a possible six-year prison term.

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