N.J. Yacht Explosion Hoax Distress Call Released

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The total cost to the Coast Guard was initially determined to be $88,000 and rising. This figure doesn't include the city's costs from deploying the New York Police Department and the Fire Department of New York, which Hitchen estimated was equal to or greater than the cost to the Coast Guard.

Officials believe the distress call originated over land in New Jersey or southern New York. The call was made from a radio, not a cell phone, and was only picked up by one antenna, making it impossible to pinpoint the exact origin of the call.

By 10 p.m. on Monday, the active search was suspended with "clear indication that it was some sort of probable hoax," Hitchen said.

"Even if we think a case is a potential hoax, we always go in with the assumption that it is not. We do not want to under-react to an actual emergency," he said.

When asked what the motive could be for the prank, Hitchen said, "Some people just want attention. That's usually the biggest reason. They like to see all the response and active search for something they caused...It's very strange."

ABC News' Linsey Davis contributed to this report.

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