February 1st, the Coast Guard and other search-and-rescue personnel will only
monitor and receive distress alert broadcasts using digital 406 megahertz
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons, or EPIRBs.
KMXT's Erik Wander has
The Coast Guard
will no longer monitor 121.5 or 243 megahertz emergency beacons as of the first
of next month. In addition, search and rescue satellites will no longer process
older model analog EPIRBs that only transmit on 121.5 or 243 megahertz. Robert
Davis is a marine science technician at the Coast Guard's Marine Safety
Detachment in Kodiak.
-- (Davis 1 13
sec. "On February 1st ... no
longer pick up the satellite signal.")
of the change, the digital 406 megahertz became the only frequency approved for
use in both commercial and recreational watercraft worldwide on January 1st,
2007. Satellite processing from all 121.5 or 243 megahertz EPIRBs will be
terminated on February 1st of this year.
-- (Davis 2 34
sec. "The 406 is what is ...
really, it's not going to.")
Petty Officer Sara
Francis of the Coast Guard in Anchorage
said the new regulations are designed in part to reduce possible false alarms,
something that was common with the 121.5 and 243 megahertz frequencies.
-- (Francis 2 50 sec. "We
found that only about ... so, we know who we're looking for.")
Ted Rogers, owner
of Joycrafts Marine Safety Equipment, said he saw sales of the 406 megahertz EPIRBs
begin to increase long before the new regulations were announced.
-- (Rogers 1 22
sec. "We have a pretty savvy
group ... regulations have taken place.")
are required by law to provide emergency contact information and a vessel
description by registering their beacon with the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. This allows search and rescue personnel to quickly
confirm if a distress signal is real, and identify what type of boat or
aircraft to look for in the event of an emergency. I'm Erik Wander.