Wednesday, August 11, 2021

MARS Members Help in Response to Maritime Emergency

In early July, an Army MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) HF training net for members in New York and New Jersey was interrupted by a series of distress calls on their frequency (which is shared with the maritime service. 

According to the ARRL Letter, several net members tried unsuccessfully to establish radio contact with the vessel in distress while the net control station alerted the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessel was eventually identified as a fishing boat traveling from Jamaica to Guatemala, which apparently capsized without warning on the night of July 6. Ten of the 15 individuals on board the boat were rescued by a passing oil tanker. Unfortunately, five others, including the captain, did not survive.