Coast Guard completes system of radio-activated foghorns in Northeast

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(BOSTON) — The Coast Guard has completed the installation of mariner radio-activated sound signal (MRASS) devices at 82 lighthouses across the Northeast.

The Coast Guard began updating the sound signal devices in 2015 and will complete the final two installations this spring.

The purpose of the modernization was to replace the less reliable and less efficient VM-100 fog detectors with a Coast Guard-designed, radio-controlled system. The process also eliminated several 24/7 continuously sounding horns.

Mariners needing foghorn assistance must now activate the sound signal by using a marine VHF-FM radio. The MRASS device will allow mariners to energize the sound signal, on demand, by keying a standard VHF-FM radio five times consecutively on VHF channel 83A. The sound signal will then sound for 45-60 minutes following each activation. 

The MRASS is an efficient and economical part of the nation’s aid to navigation system that provides a sound signal precisely when the mariner requires it.

All changes have been announced via Broadcast Notice to Mariners and in the Local Notice to Mariners.

By Professional Mariner Staff