The Coast Guard said Monday it has no information to support a radio distress call it received Saturday in which a man claimed he and three children were aboard a boat that had capsized off Kennebunkport.

Chris Berry, the operational unit controller at the Coast Guard’s South Portland base, said the agency was still investigating the incident Monday morning and had not determined if the report was real or a hoax.

A series of short distress calls was received late Saturday morning, but a 22-hour search by vessels and a helicopter failed to turn up any sign of the man, the children or a boat, Coast Guard officials said. The search, which covered more than 1,500 nautical square miles and involved hundreds of people, was suspended Sunday morning.

As of Monday morning, the search remained suspended with no further information available about the reported incident, Berry said.

Berry said the Coast Guard hasn’t received any reports of missing people and hasn’t found any debris from a vessel. Despite being asked at the time, the man making the radio report did not identify himself or his vessel.

The Coast Guard released an audio clip of the distress calls on Saturday in the hope that someone might be able to identify the caller’s voice.


The first in a series of distress calls was received around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. In them, a man says his 14-foot Jon boat was capsizing with three children on board. Jon boats are flat bottomed with two or three bench seats. They are typically used for fishing or hunting on inland waters.

The Coast Guard said the vessel was reported to be 10 nautical miles off the coast of Kennebunkport.

The man calmly says during the distress call that the boat has flipped over and that he is going to try to get the children on top of the boat. If he is unable to get the kids onto the top of the boat, the man says, “We’re all just going to huddle in the water.”

Before losing his radio connection with the Coast Guard, he said all occupants of the boat had life vests.


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