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USCG: Vessel Traffic Service remains operational following electronics outage

VALDEZ, Alaska — Vessel Traffic Service Prince William Sound is maintaining their continuity of operations Wednesday afternoon following an electrical short in the Valdez-based Coast Guard electronics building.

At approximately 3:51 p.m., the fire alarm in the Electronics Support Detachment Valdez building was triggered indicating a potential fire in the electronics room. The ESD was unmanned at the time of the alarm and houses the central electronics hub for VHF-FM radio and Vessel Traffic Service circuits in Prince William Sound.

The Valdez Fire Department immediately responded to the alarm, cleared the space of any potential danger, and stated the smoke appeared to be due to an electrical short in one of the equipment racks.

The Coast Guard retained direct communications with all Prince William Sound mariners via VHF-FM radio on both Channel 16 and 13 during the incident.

“All Vessel Traffic Service radar, camera, and AIS systems remain fully operational; however, the electronics short disabled the Vessel Traffic Center’s visual tracking display,” said Lt. j.g Allie Ferko, VTS director. “Until the system is repaired, VTS watchstanders continue to monitor vessel traffic utilizing manual tracking and an alternative AIS web-based program. VTS participants are also required to provide position reports, if applicable, via VHF-FM Channel 13.”