VHF radio system outages reported in Southeast Alaska

Coast Guard officials in Juneau say network issues are causing temporary intermittent outages in VHF radio systems from Yakutat to Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska.

A commercial service provider is assessing the issue and an estimated repair time is not yet available, they said.

Meanwhile the Coast Guard is encouraging all mariners throughout Alaska to carry a redundant means of communication. Ideally this would include an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, Personal Locator Beacon or satellite messaging device. Other suggested communication means include a cellular telephone, when in range; a satellite phone; or high frequency radio communications on 4,125 kHz, 6,215 kHz and 8,291 kHz.

Mariners can contact Coast Guard Sector Juneau via cellular or satellite phone at 907-463-2980.

Coast Guard officials also asked mariners to keep an active radio watch and relay any unanswered calls for assistance to the Coast Guard.

Cmdr. Meredith Gillman, the search and rescue mission coordinator, said that until the outage is resolved, it is crucial for mariners to have alternative forms of communication with them.  She also recommended that mariners create a float plan and file it with their local harbormaster or trusted friends and family.