Coast Guard says yacht blast may be hoax

June 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM

HIGHLANDS, N.J., June 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard said it had a report, but no evidence, of an explosion onboard a yacht off the New Jersey coast Monday and suspects the report was a hoax.

A Coast Guard source told NBC News the matter was being treated as a false report after a massive search off Sandy Hook by Coast Guard, law enforcement agencies and Good Samaritan boats failed to turn up any sign of a large boat, debris or survivors.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Jetta Disco said the air and water search-and-rescue effort lasted for 3 hours after it was triggered by an emergency radio transmission at 4:20 p.m. EDT. The call said the "Blind Date" had been hit by an explosion 17.5 miles east of Sandy Hook and that as many as nine of the 21 people had been injured. Everyone had made it into life rafts, the caller had said.

The Coast Guard source told NBC authorities would try to trace the call.

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