Maine Fog Signal Change Creates Controversy


Maine Lighthouse Change Prompts Safety Concerns
 Wikimedia Commons.

The Coast Guard has announced that it intends to “upgrade” the fog signals at 17 lighthouses along the Maine coast so that they can be activated on demand by mariners, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The move, which is upsetting some boaters, will modernize the fog alert system and replace the “less reliable and less efficient” fog detectors now at the lighthouses, according to a media release issued by the Coast Guard on Thursday, Nov. 12. When the signals are converted, mariners will be able to activate them by keying their VHF radio 5 times consecutively on channel 83A. The signal will sound for up to an hour after each activation.

As one skeptic has pointed out, the new system will require mariners to roughly know their location on the Maine coast if they want to activate a local fog signal. They must also possess a VHF radio, which many small-boat skippers do not carry.

Read more about the plans to install boater-activated fog signals along the Maine coast.