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Foghorns Due For An Upgrade At Lighthouses Along Long Island Sound

An explanation of the new Marine Radio-Activated Sound Signals.
An explanation of the new Marine Radio-Activated Sound Signals. Video Credit: Elijah Reynolds

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The U.S. Coast Guard is replacing an antiquated foghorn systems at 11 lighthouses in Long Island Sound.

The Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound will be replacing traditional sound signals — foghorns — with marine radio-activated sound signals.

The system is used to warn boaters of visibility issues on Long Island sound. In both the new and old systems, an alarm sounds to let boaters know when visibility is below 3 nautical miles, according to the YouTube video above.

Mariners that need to hear the sound signals during periods of reduced visibility will be able to activate them on demand by turning their VHF-FM radio to channel 83A/157.175Mhz and keying their microphone five times consecutively. This will activate the sound signal for up to 60 minutes.

The current sound signal type and characteristic will not change due to this conversion. All light characteristics, equipment and patterns will also remain unchanged.

The following lighthouses will be getting the upgrade:

Connecticut

  • New Haven: Southwest Ledge Light
  • Norwalk: Greens Ledge Light
  • Groton: New London Ledge Light
  • Greenwich: Great Captain Island light
  • Fairfield: Penfield Reef Light
  • Old Saybrook: Saybrook Breakwater Light
New York
  • Fishers Island: North Dumpling Light
  • Race Rock Reef: Race Rock Light
  • Montauk: Montauk Point Light
  • Huntington Bay: Huntington Harbor Light
  • Orient Point: Orient Point Light

The new MRASS technology is less expensive and requires less maintenance that the foghorns, which use older technology, according to the Coast Guard.

For a clear, comprehensive explanation of the new Marine Radio-Activated Sound Signals, watch the YouTube video above.

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