Coast Guard investigates airplane EPIRB alert

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard investigated an aircrafts emergency position indicating radio beacon alert approximately 1,035 miles northeast of Bermuda Monday afternoon.

Fifth Coast Guard District Command Center watchstanders in Portsmouth contacted the Rescue Coordination Center in Madrid and the Federal Aviation Administration to verify the alert.

An HC-130J Hercules aircraft search crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) vessel Maersk Douglas were dispatched to the location.

Air Europa, the owner of the Spanish Airbus contacted the aircraft en route to Cancun, Mexico to verify the EPIRB alert. Upon further investigation, it was found that the EPIRB was inadvertently activated and sending a signal from the aircraft.

The Coast Guard urges all mariners and EPIRB owners to properly maintain, monitor and register their EPIRBs in order to prevent inadvertent activation and false alerts.

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