A yacht explosion east of Sandy Hook reported to the Coast Guard may turn out to be a hoax.

The U.S. Coast Guard says a report of an explosion on a motor yacht off Sandy Hook could be a hoax
because it can't find any signs of distress in the water.

Authorities received an emergency radio transmission from a boat identifying itself as the Blind Date on Monday afternoon. Coast Guard Lt. Joe Klinker says the caller reported the boat was 17 nautical miles east of Sandy Hook and had 21 people aboard and several people were injured. He says the caller said the vessel had sunk but everyone aboard had made it to life rafts.

Emergency crews from all over Monmouth County, medical helicopter crews and rescue crews from New York responded immediately to the explosion. The Coast Guard launched two helicopters from Atlantic City as well as vessels from Sandy Hook and Jones Beachreports WNYW TV.

WNBC TV reported 21 people were on board the "Blind Date" which was just over 17 miles away from the shore when the explosion occured around 4:20PM.

Klinker says it's "highly unusual" for the Coast Guard to get his kind of position and get there quickly but not locate anything or see any sign of distress. He says it's unclear if a yacht called the Blind Date exists.


Many of the victims were said to have suffered burns. Rangers with the National Park Service, which manages the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook, declared a mass casualty incident reported WNYW.

The private boat Erica was said to be helping with the rescue according to WABC TV, which reports all on board are accounted for.

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