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Man pleads guilty to filing false report that triggered search

A recreational pilot who touched off a 21-hour search last year after reporting he spotted flares from boaters in distress has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of sending a false distress message.

Danik Shiv Kumar entered the guilty plea during a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court and is due to be sentenced May 28.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Kumar called on March 14 to report that he saw five flares fired from a boat about 10 miles north of Lorain. He told the Coast Guard that there were four people aboard wearing life jackets.

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