A Vinalhaven Island man who placed a bogus “mayday” call to the U.S. Coast Guard last year pretending to be an injured crewman on a fishing boat was sentenced Wednesday to a year in federal prison.

Owen Adair, 23, was also sentenced by Judge Nancy Torresen in U.S. District Court in Portland to serve up to a year of community confinement after completing his prison term, three years of supervised release and repay the Coast Guard $15,000 for costs associated with the search prompted by his hoax.

Adair told the Coast Guard last Sept. 30 that he was aboard the Lila Rose off the coast of Rockland with a serious neck injury and was bleeding badly, according to court records.

The Coast Guard searched for the Lila Rose, whose home port is Vinalhaven, for four hours before calling off the search. The Coast Guard later determined that the Lila Rose was safe at its mooring, according to a prosecution document filed at the court.

“In fact, the defendant was not aboard the vessel but was ashore on Vinalhaven Island and was using a VHF radio in his truck,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Chapman in the prosecution document. “At no time was there an injured person needing assistance from the Coast Guard.”

Adair pleaded guilty to the charge on April 15.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @scottddolan

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.