Coast Guard officials have suspended a search off the southern New Jersey coast that began after the agency received a mysterious distress call on Sunday morning.

The apparent hoax came less than a week after the Coast Guard staged a massive search off Sandy Hook that was prompted by another distress call which was later labeled a hoax. That search took five hours and cost rescue agencies more than $300,000.

Officials say the latest search began late Sunday morning after a radio call went out stating “Mayday, mayday, is anyone there?” The caller apparently provided information about the vessel’s location, but not precise coordinates.

A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched and searched an area about 12 miles off Cape May, but found no signs of a ship in distress.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)