A U.S. Coast Guard Station Juneau small-boat crew examines the mast of the sunken 94-foot tugboat Challenger, Sept. 12, 2015 in Gastineau Channel. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

A U.S. Coast Guard Station Juneau small-boat crew examines the mast of the sunken 94-foot tugboat Challenger, Sept. 12, 2015 in Gastineau Channel. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

USCG experiencing emergency radio outages in Alaska

The Coast Guard’s emergency VHF channels are under repair.

Old communications equipment undergoing maintenance has resulted in outages to VHF-FM radio channels, making it possible that the Coast Guard will not hear or be able to respond to distress calls on channel 16.

Channel 16 is the channel used for communicating distress or peril to the Coast Guard in the region.

Public affairs specialist Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Norcross said that the regions affected include waters betwixt Yakutat and Sitka, Cross Sound, Peril Strait, Hoonah Sound, Southern Chatham Strait, Sumner Strait, the area around Zarembo Island and west of Prince of Wales Island.

A press release by the Coast Guard encouraged mariners to be careful, and if necessary, avail themselves of other means of communicating distress. These methods include cellphones, satphones, HF radio comms on frequencies 4125 kHz, 6215 kHz and 8291 kHz, emergency position-indicating radio beacons, or other satellite messaging vectors.

The number for the Sector Juneau Command Center is (907) 463-2980.


• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.


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