Massachusetts officials are reevaluating weak signal strength along the seaboard after great white shark attacks this summer left one man injured and another dead. WCVB-TV reported that 911 calls made following both incidents were delayed or interrupted due to poor reception.
Local officials say they need to improve communication in the area, especially at some of Cape Cod’s more secluded beaches. Solutions being discussed include the construction of additional cell phone towers and installing emergency call boxes.
Measures had been taken prior to the attacks to improve communications along the beaches, such equipping lifeguards with more powerful radio systems. Various emergency alert systems were added, including the ‘Sharktivity’ app that allows people to publicly post shark sightings in real-time on a digital map, according to WCVB-TV.
Officials said opposition to tower construction on federally-protected beaches and lack of interest from phone companies are among roadblocks they are facing, along with the cost of covering 40 miles of seashore.
Dawson Farber, Harbormaster in the Massachusetts town of Dennis, told WCVB-TV “We’re heavily reliant on the industry in overcoming this obstacle.”
By Hanna Esserman for Inside Towers
September 24, 2018