ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - All mariners are to be advised that the Coast Guard's ability to monitor VHF (Very High Frequency) and HF (High Frequency) radio communications from Venice, Fla., to Everglades City, Fla., are diminished due to Hurricane Wilma.
Coast Guard units will not be able to communicate with boaters in distress via VHF or HF radios in the expansive area for an unknown period of time.
Reliable communications are a must in all conditions and should be taken very seriously. The Coast Guard will not be able to hear nor reply to any radio calls made underway and therefore cannot provide assistance if needed.
All mariners should be especially alert to distress calls on Channel 16 VHF-FM and notify the nearest Coast Guard unit via telephone.
The Coast Guard is working to get the equipment repaired as soon as possible