Residents alarmed as Coast Guard changes foghorns

Hundreds of New Englanders are sounding the alarm over a Coast Guard plan to convert old-style foghorns to new technology.

The Coast Guard is converting Maine and New Hampshire foghorns that are automated to activate when there is fog. It says newer technology that mariners activate via marine radios is safer and more cost effective. So far the Coast Guard has changed seven foghorns and plans to convert 18 more.

Residents in some Maine towns are petitioning to stop the change. Tom Bradbury of Kennebunkport says the older, more frequent foghorns bring the “sense that someone is on guard.”

The converted foghorns range from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Maine’s Mistake Island, about 50 miles from Canada. The lights slated for conversion are all along the coast.