SANDY HOOK - The Coast Guard has called off the search for a sailboat off the coast of Monmouth County after searching for more than 12 hours today.

Crews searched near Earle Naval Weapons Station off the shore of Leonardo after a mayday call came in, claiming a sailboard was taking on water. Helicopters and boats scoured the waters, but after hours of searching, no sign of debris was found.

Officials now say the whole thing may have been a hoax. The distress call came into the Coast Guard at Sandy Hook at 3:20 am. The caller said their sailboat, "Courtney Lynn", was sinking in the Raritan Bay, but that all five of them had life vests.

Coast Guard officials say it may very well be a hoax, but add that all calls have to be taken seriously. The Coast Guard says a prank caller could face jail time and a hefty fine. Authorities search for 4 boaters off Monmouth County coast