Statement Analysis®

The Sinking Yacht Blind Date Distress Call

On June 11, 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call from a boat identifying itself as the Blind Date. An explosion on board the yacht sent 21 people into the water off the coast of New Jersey. Rescue boats and helicopters searched the area but they found no signs of people in the water or evidence of a sunken yacht. By the next day, the Coast Guard was suspecting the call may have been a hoax. Here is a excerpt from the transcript of the call the Coast Guard received.

CALLER: U.S. Coast Guard, motor yacht, Blind Date - how do you copy?
Coast Guard: (garbled)
CALLER: We have three deceased, nine injured. We have had an explosion on board, that's why we're taking on water. I'm in about 3 1/2 feet of water on the bridge right now. I'm going to stay by as long as I can before I have to bail.

Anyone who has attended one of my seminars or read my book Don't Be Deceived will spot the possible deception in this distress call. When deceptive people have to come up with a number they will often choose the number three. One of the first things the caller states is that they have "three deceased." Remember, the use of the number three is an indication of deception and not an absolute. If three people had died, then that is what the caller would have stated. However, the number three appears again in the call; "I'm in about 3 1/2 feet of water." The number three is something you do not want to overlook. In an interview setting, you should ask a few more questions about this number in an attempt to ascertain if the subject is telling the truth.

When people explain their actions or why something happened it should raise a red flag. If you asked a person to tell you what happened that is all he should be telling you. He should not be explaining why something happened. We do not know what the Coast Guard asked the caller, but the caller did state, "We have had an explosion on board, that's why we're taking on water." A better statement would have been to say, "We have had an explosion on board and we're taking on water."

The coast guard concluded that this distress call was a hoax that originated on land somewhere in Staten Island or New Jersey. They have offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator.

Return to the In The News page

Return to the Famous Cases page