Florida Coast Guard Receives Mysterious Radio Calls Threatening to Set Off Depth Charges and Sink Their Ships in the Gulf

The U.S. Coast Guard is appealing for information from the public after a command center was sent a series of violent threats and hoax calls.

The transmissions were received via marine band radio off the coast of Florida. The unknown culprit, speaking in an American accent, cited links to the Russian government and threatened to set off anti-submarine weapons known as "depth charges" and shoot down planes.

The latest threat was sent to the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center on August 13 via VHF channel 22A, the Coast Guard confirmed to media yesterday.

The mysterious individual behind the most recent broadcast appeared to be the same person who made previous threats that started with him saying "Mayday" three times before talking about "scrambling all jets we are under nuclear attack," officials said this week.

Audio of the calls was published to the Coast Guard website yesterday but was not working at the time of publication. Navy Times reported it obtained a copy of the August 13 transmission, which lasted roughly 70 seconds and contained a series of bizarre threats.

According to the website, a voice was heard saying: "The next time you send off any aircraft off of any aircraft carriers, or helicopters, I will set off all the depth charges in the Gulf and sink your ships... close down all airports of America, otherwise I'll set off the depth charges."

The call continued: "The next time I see one of your planes in the air, I'm going to shoot that plane down and kill the pilot and the passengers... I'm going to shake your ships all apart."

It added: "You are playing with the Russian government. I'd suggest you back the [expletive] off. Because if you don't back the [expletive] off, you're going to lose a lot of Coast Guardsmen. Do you understand me? Keep your [expletive] airliners and you keep your ships [indecipherable]"

Authorities say penalties for making false distress calls and hoaxes, upon conviction, include up to 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines, plus the cost of the search. The Coast Guard does not actually operate aircraft carriers, only smaller "cutter" vessels, Navy Times reported.

In a statement yesterday, Charles 'Marty' Russell, the agent-in-charge of the Coast Guard Investigative Service office in St. Petersburg, said: "Hoax calls are costly to the taxpayer and our service. When the Coast Guard receives a distress call, we immediately respond, putting our crews at risk, and risking the lives of boaters who may legitimately need our help."

The investigation continues. Anyone with information about the caller is asked to contact the Coast Guard Investigative Service St. Petersburg at (727) 535-1437, then extension 2308.

US Coast Guard
The US Coast Guard cutter ship 'Stratton' arrives to take part in a joint exercise in Chennai on August 23, 2019. Officials are appealing for information after a command center was sent a series of violent threats threatening to sink its ships. ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty