VHF radio system failures have been reported in Southeast Alaska

Coast Guard officials in Juneau say network problems are temporarily causing intermittent outages in VHF radio systems from Yakutat to Ketchikan in southeastern Alaska.

A commercial service provider is investigating the problem and an estimated repair time is not yet available.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is encouraging all seafarers across Alaska to carry a redundant means of communication. Ideally, this includes an emergency position beacon, a personal location signal, or a satellite messaging device. Other suggested means of communication include a mobile phone when in range; a satellite phone; or high frequency radio communication on 4,125 kHz, 6,215 kHz and 8,291 kHz.

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

Coast Guard officials also asked seafarers to keep an active radio watch and to forward unanswered calls for help to the Coast Guard.

Cmdr. Meredith Gillman, the search and rescue mission coordinator, said it was vital for seafarers to have alternative forms of communication with them until the outage was resolved. She also recommended that seafarers draw up a swimming plan and submit it to their local harbor master or trusted friends and family members.

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