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Fun Fact April 30, 2020.

30 April 2020


Today is the last day of April so tomorrow is May Day.  More about that tomorrow, but today we’ll look at a different mayday, that being the call for help.  Mayday got its start as an international distress call in 1923. It was made official in 1948. It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “mayday” because it sounded like the French word m’aider, which means “help me.”  The proper procedure calls for the mayday distress signal to be said three times in a row, Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! so that it won’t be mistaken for another word or phrase that sounds similar under noisy conditions.  The distress call would then continue with information about what type of craft is involved, what the emergency is, location, weather conditions, fuel onboard and the number of people, souls, onboard.   In the United States, it’s illegal to make a fake distress call, so a mayday call is not something to be taken lightly.  Making a false distress in the U. S can land you in jail for up to six years and subject you to a $250,000 fine!