Can you contact The US Coast Guard via Cell Phone?

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Old Ironmaker

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We occasionally will fish shared border lakes and rivers here in Ontario. Here we can simply dial *16 (star 16) on a cell phone to contact the Canadian Coast Guard. Can we contact the USCG via cell phone as well?
 

GA_Boater

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When you're in the middle of a lake or river and call 911, there is no telling which 911 call center will answer, but they transfer you to who you need to talk to.
 

Boydski

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The Coast Guard prefers emergency contact via VHF or the USCG app on your phone. That way they can tell your location and provide assistance more quickly.
Once contacted via VHF, they will often switch to cell phone for non-emergency or garbled radio communication.
 
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Here in Oklahoma, you can contact the Oklahoma Highway Patrol via *55. I work in Navigation and am not aware of such a type service for the USCG. However, as mentioned, Coasties can be reached via channel 16, or, from your local stations phone numbers
 

SteveFleming

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911 is a perfect option when you need help in lake or river. They can transfer your call according to you requirements.
 

dingbat

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When you need help, you need it now. Not two phone transfers and 30 minutes later.

Calling 911 circumvents your best odds of immediate help, your fellow mariners.....

Pushing the DSC button is your best hope for immediate help
 

dingbat

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When you're in the middle of a lake or river and call 911, there is no telling which 911 call center will answer, but they transfer you to who you need to talk to.
This exact scenerio came up 2 years ago.

Threes guys out fishing in the Spring. Water temps in low 50’s.

Boat starts taking on water for unknown reason. With no VHF they called 911. With no confirmed location, (only general area) 911 don’t know which justification was closest to the scene.

Fortuntly, one of the call center guys had the foresight to call a friend who was out fishing in the general area who notified other boats in the area via VHF of the situation.

The boat was quickly located and four people where pulled from the water. Unfortunately, two out of the four didn’t make it. Victims of exposure induced heart attacks.

There is a good chance they all would have perished had they waited for CG first responders to be dispatched.
 

GA_Boater

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911 is a perfect option when you need help in lake or river. They can transfer your call according to you requirements.

Sorry, but 911 is not perfect. You can dial 911 all day long and get no response when there are no cell towers. I boat on a lake with zero bars. Not exactly true, wrong bars.
 

matthew_796

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We occasionally will fish shared border lakes and rivers here in Ontario. Here we can simply dial *16 (star 16) on a cell phone to contact the Canadian Coast Guard. Can we contact the USCG via cell phone as well?
Hello,
If people in an emergency and need of Coast Guard assistance should use: VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911. For general inquiries call your nearest Coast Guard unit.
 
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