Coast Guard seeks information on New England distress call

It may have been a hoax, officials said

By Ray Sanchez and Amir Vera, CNN
US Coast Guard via CNN

Thousands of active duty US Coast Guard service members did not receive their paycheck Tuesday -- the first time in history that US Armed Forces service members were not paid during a lapse in government funding, according to the branch's top…

(CNN) - The US Coast Guard Tuesday said it's seeking information about a weekend distress call involving a missing boater and three children off the coast of Kennebunkport, Maine, including the possibility of the report being a hoax.

The agency suspended a search for the four Sunday morning, nearly a day after a man reported their 14-foot boat capsized.

In a mayday call released by the US Coast Guard Northeast Division, the man said the boat flipped over and he and the children were in the water trying to get back to the top of the boat. He said if that was unsuccessful, they would huddle in the water.

The Coast Guard said it searched for 22 hours over 1,500 square nautical miles.

"We are asking for the public's assistance in determining the source of the calls and the nature of the distress," said Capt. Brian Lefebvre, commander of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England.

"Additional information may aid in our closure of the case and offer a degree of finality to the many rescuers who dedicated their time and effort toward this search effort."

The search team included Maine Marine Patrol, Wells Police Department and other local participants, the Coast Guard said.

The search was called off at 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the Coast Guard.

CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.

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