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Coast Guard asks boat owners to check radios after series of distress calls

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 11:08 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2022 at 4:14 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Coast Guard is asking boat owners to check their VHF Marine radios after reporting a series of “uncorrelated distress calls.”

The calls are coming on the Digital Selective Calling System from an unregistered radio displaying an MMSI address of 100000001, a release from the Coast Guard states. Those calls have come in the Hilton Head and Beaufort area over the past few months.

The Coast Guard received the first signal on April 26, 2021, and the signals stopped in July. But the radio resumed intermittent transmissions in February 2022, causing interference with marine radio traffic in the Hilton Head and Beaufort area.

False distress calls have the potential to mask genuine distress calls and overwhelm the search and rescue system’s ability to respond to emergencies, the Coast Guard says.

Anyone with information about the faulty radio is asked to call the Coast Guard at 843-740-7050.

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