Coast Guard asks Hilton Head, Beaufort mariners to check radios

Local News

FILE – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James transits the Atlantic Ocean on March 29, 2017. (Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake/Coast Guard)

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – The Coast Guard is asking Hilton Head Island and Beaufort mariners to inspect their radios after receiving a series of distress calls.

Officials say over the past few months, Coast Guard Sector Charleston has received multiple uncorrelated distress calls on the digital selective calling system carried over a VHF marine radio, causing interference with marine radio traffic.

The calls, received in the Hilton Head and Beaufort areas, originate from an unregistered VHF radio displaying a maritime mobile service identity address of 100000001.

According to the Coast Guard, Charleston watchstanders received the first signal on April 26, and it’s been transmitted intermittently since then.

“False distress calls have the potential to mask genuine distress calls and overwhelm the search and rescue systems’ ability to respond to emergencies,” the Coast Guard stated.

Anyone with information about the calls or a faulty radio is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Charleston at 843-740-7050.

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