The distraught sailor was drifting in his sailboat near Kalmar off the south coast of Sweden when he called emergency services claiming his wife had drowned, the local Barometern Oskarshamns-Tidningen reported.
When rescuers reached the boat, they found a drunken sailor with a broken tiller, but no sign of the man’s wife.
They soon learned, however, that the sailor’s wife had never been on the boat and had instead been safe and sound on land during the entire ordeal.
After fixing the man’s tiller, the rescue team towed him and his boat back to shore where police promptly gave the sailor a breath test after which he was arrested the for boating while intoxicated.
Sweden’s laws prohibiting drunken boating were strengthen in July 2010, lowering the maximum allowable blood alcohol level from 1.0 promille to 0.2 promille — the same level applied for drunken driving.
The law also gave coast guard and police the right to perform checks on boaters if they suspect the captain may have had too much to drink.