The U.S. Coast Guard is moving forward with a plan to install mariner-activated sound signals at 17 lighthouses along the Maine coast, the agency announced Wednesday.
The Coast Guard released a plan in November to convert aging automatically-activated foghorns with Mariner Radio Activated Sound Signals, which can be activated on demand by boaters using a marine radio. The horns will sound the same as they do now. The change is part of a larger Coast Guard modernization initiative to replace older fog detectors that activated the horns with the Coast Guard-designed, radio-controlled system.
During an outreach campaign, some people in the maritime community wondered how recreational boaters will be notified of the changes and were concerned because many small vessels don't carry two-way Marine VHF radios, the Coast Guard said in a news release. The Coast Guard plans to continue education efforts and is encouraging all mariners to carry the radios, with which they can contact the Coast Guard in emergencies, as well as activate the foghorns.
The Coast Guard plans to announce the changes at each light with a broadcast notice to mariners, notices in maritime publications and through meetings with boaters.
The new sound signals will be installed over the next six weeks at Seguin Light, Cape Elizabeth Light, Goat Island Light, Burnt Island Light, Portland Head Light, Spring Point Light, Dog Island Light, West Quoddy Head Light, Egg Rock Light, Fort Point Light, Heron Neck Light, Goose Rocks Light, Browns Head Light, Owls Head Light, Two Bush Island Light, Whitehead Light and Marshall Point Light.
Mariners with questions or concerns about the change can contact Lt. David Bourbeau at 347-5015.