VHF Radio System Intermittent Outages near Southeast Alaska

VHF radio systems are temporarily experiencing intermittent outages from Yakutat, Alaska, to Ketchikan, Alaska, due to network issues, Tuesday.

A commercial service provider is currently assessing the issue in order to conduct repairs and an estimated time of repair is not currently available.

The Coast Guard encourages all mariners throughout Alaska to remain vigilant and carry a redundant means of communication. Ideally, this would include an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) 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 the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center via cellular or satellite phone at 907-463-2980.

Mariners are reminded that Southeast Alaska from Yakutat to Ketchikan has unreliable VHF coverage. Mariners are requested to keep an active radio watch and relay any unanswered calls for assistance to the Coast Guard.

“Until this outage is resolved, it’s crucial for mariners to have alternative forms of communication with them,” said Cmdr. Meredith Gillman, search and rescue mission coordinator. “It is also recommended that mariners create a float plan and file it with their local harbor master or trusted friends and family.”