BOSTON (AP) — The Coast Guard says rescuers needlessly searched a Rhode Island bay after receiving a distress call from an expired radio beacon that had been improperly discarded.
The Coast Guard says in a statement that a command center received a transmission Sunday afternoon that indicated a boat was in distress. The transmission came from an electronic position-indicating radio beacon.
Helicopter and boat crews were dispatched to Mount Hope Bay to search for the vessel.
But about two hours later, the command center learned that the signal was coming from an improperly disposed-of radio beacon that had been dropped while being handled.
Lt. John Mansolillo with the Coast Guard says batteries need to be removed from the beacons when they are expired to prevent false distress signals.