Barnegat Bay Distress Incident A Possible Hoax

The Barnegat Bay (Photo by Jason Allentoff)

OCEAN COUNTY – No one fell off a personal water craft Sunday in the Barnegat Bay, state police concluded.

A 911 call was placed around 9 p.m. Sunday night that a 50-year-old man who wasn’t wearing a life vest had fallen into the bay from his personal water craft.

State Police marine and aviation units responded, and investigated for hours with no results.

A further investigation led police to believe that no one actually did fall into the bay, NJSP Sgt. Lawrence Peele told Jersey Shore Online.

Police interviewed the person who placed the 911 call, who said they were told by two juveniles that someone had fallen into the bay.

That person provided a description to state police, but those two juveniles haven’t been located for questioning.

Peele said the person who placed the call genuinely believed that someone had fallen into the bay. Whether the children believed that as well, or were carrying out a hoax, is unknown. 

The investigation into the source of the report is still underway, and state police may decide to file charges if it was found that the juveniles knowingly created a false emergency.

Peele did add that their marine and aviation units are on standby this time of year, so taxpayers haven’t footed any additional costs from this search.