Intermittent outages within the VHF radio system close to Southeast Alaska

VHF channel 16

JUNEAU, Alaska – VHF radio systems are experiencing intermittent outages from Yakutat, Alaska to Ketchikan, Alaska on Tuesday due to network problems.

A commercial service provider is currently evaluating the problem in order to perform repairs and an estimated repair time is currently not available.

The Coast Guard encourages all seafarers across Alaska to remain vigilant and have redundant means of communication. Ideally, this includes an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), or a satellite messaging device. Other proposed means of communication include a mobile phone when in range, a Satellite phone or radio frequency radio communication at 4,125 kHz, 6,215 kHz and 8,291 kHz.

Seafarers can contact the Juneau Coast Guard Sector Command Center using a cell phone or satellite phone at 907-463-2980.

Seafarers are reminded that Southeast Alaska has unreliable VHF coverage from Yakutat to Ketchikan. Seafarers are asked to keep an active radio watch and to forward unanswered calls for help to the coast guard.

“Until this outage is resolved, it is vital for seafarers to have alternative forms of communication with them,” said Cmdr. Meredith Gillman, Search and Rescue Coordinator. “It is also recommended that seafarers draw up a swimming plan and submit it to their local harbor master or trusted friends and family.”


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