The U.S. Coast Guard is experiencing radio outages throughout Southeast and Southcentral Alaska. Though repairs are in the works, the outages are affecting the Coast Guard's ability to respond to distress calls.

A Monday release from the Coast Guard says the VHF outages have been going on since the summer and are continuing through the winter. Officials are advising mariners take extra precautions when in Shelikof Strait, Southern Cook Inlet and offshore Southeast.

"Repairs are ongoing, but due to extreme weather and remote locations, intermittent outages are expected to continue in various locations in both Southeast and Southcentral Alaska," the release states.

The release continues:

"Mariners are reminded that due to mountainous terrain, and limited VHF coverage, even with fully operational VHF sites, the USCG cannot hear VHF calls in all areas, and mariners should have secondary means on communications onboard at all times, file a float plan with a trusted person, and carry safety equipment onboard in the event you are in a survival situation."

The following phone numbers can be used to call the Coast Guard in an emergency:

  • Sector Juneau Command Center: 907-463-2980
  • Sector Anchorage Command Center: 907-428-4100
  • 17th District Command Center: 907-463-2000

A similar release was sent in October, warning mariners planning to be on the water to have another way to communicate — like a cell phone or satellite phone — in case of an emergency.

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