FAIRFIELD, NJ — A report of a capsized boat on the Passaic River on March 15 has been deemed a hoax by the Fairfield Police Department.

The report came in at 5:04 p.m., when the Police Department was contacted by the New Jersey State Police Marine Bureau reporting a distress call involving an alleged boater in need of assistance on the Passaic River in Fairfield. The call had been received by the United States Coast Guard in Staten Island over the marine radio band.

Emergency services, which included the Fairfield Police Department, a boat from the Fairfield Fire Department, two boats from the Lincoln Park Fire Department and a boat and helicopter from the New Jersey State Police searched the river and found nothing.

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Chief Anthony Manna said this appears to be the third false report concerning a boater in need of assistance on the Passaic River in Fairfield since 2012. All of the reports were received the same way and the condition of the boater in need of assistance was all very similar. 

The last similar report was received on Oct. 27 at approximately the same time. That report indicated that a boat either capsized or tipped over and that an adult, three children and a dog were all in need of assistance.

Detectives from the Fairfield Police Department are working closely with agents from the United States Coast Guard in investigating the case.