The U.S. Coast Guard has classified a Sunday call for help as a hoax after determining the victims in distress were likely just children playing with a radio.

No helicopters or boats were launched, but authorities did waste at least an hour determining whether the mayday call was for real, said Bob Coster, civilian search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Group Astoria today.

A male child reported he was on a sinking vessel at about 9:50 a.m. The Coast Guard attempted to find more information about the situation, but ultimately suspended the case.

"We'd had children playing on the radio all morning," Coster said. "Apparently, they'd gotten ahold of some small marine radios and were playing Army."

Few other details were available about the hoax case, but Coster said the calls came from somewhere in the Grays Harbor, Wash., area.

Today, a Coast Guard crew from Air Station Astoria assisted the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office with a search for four teenage rafters who didn't return home from a weekend excursion on the Sandy River.

The agency launched an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter at about 4 a.m. Authorities searching on the ground located the missing teens, from Gresham, at about 6:09 a.m., Coster said.

All appeared safe and in good condition.


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