FAIRFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Fairfield, New Jersey, rushed to the Passaic River Tuesday after a report that a boat with three children, an adult and a dog flipped over, but it apparently turned out all to be a hoax.
Officers from Fairfield, Lincoln Park and Wayne were all sent to the banks of the river after the call through New Jersey State Police just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, Fairfield police said. Boats were dispatched, along with the New Jersey State Police Marine and Aviation units, police said.
But first responders discovered that there was not a strong current in the river, and the depths where the search was taking place ranged from 4 to 6 feet high to just knee deep, police said.
The search revealed nothing, and by 5:30 p.m., Fairfield police and fire crews had decided the call had been a hoax.
A similar incident happened three years ago in Fairfield. Around 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2012, police in Fairfield were contacted by the U.S. Coast Guard on Staten Island for a report a radio transmission that a boat with three people onboard had become disabled on the Passaic River and was taking on water, police said.
But a search – also involving boats and helicopters – likewise turned up nothing and the accident was deemed a hoax.
“Unfortunately, incidents like this one need to be thoroughly investigated in the event what was reported was true. We are happy that no one was in fact in need of assistance. But once it is verified and deemed a hoax, it is an absolute waste of taxpayer money and it tied up emergency resources from several municipalities and the state for no reason,” Fairfield police Deputy Chief Anthony Manna said in a news release.
Anyone with information on the latest incident was asked to contact Fairfield police.