WASHINGTON (LOG News Service) — The Coast Guard has issued a Marine Safety Alert warning mariners not to attempt to reach for help in emergencies on Single Side Band High Frequency 2182 kHz.
In a release, Coast Guard spokesman Kenneth Olsen reported the Coast Guard discontinued monitoring 2182 more than four years ago. However recent inquiries by Coast Guard marine inspectors found a large number of vessel operators and ship masters continue to rely on this outdated high seas frequency to establish contact with the Coast Guard in case of an emergency beyond the normal range of VHF marine radios.
Olson also said many mariners attempt to contact the Coast Guard using their EPIRBs, cell phones, SAT phones, and even NOAA weather electronics. Each of these communications devices has its limitations and specific functional capabilities, according to Olson.
SSB-HF communications offer a greater transmission range when other options are not available. SSB-HF radios equipped with digital selective calling (DSC) are capable of triggering an alert at Coast Guard Communications Command and are an especially reliable means for initiating communications with the Coast Guard during distress situations.
The Coast Guard keeps watch on the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) SSB-HF frequencies 4125, 6215, 8291 and 12,290 kHz in place of the old international radiotelephone distress frequency 2182 kHz, Olsen said.
More detailed information on the SSB-HF and HF DSC frequencies on which the Coast Guard keeps watch for distress and safety purposes are listed at bit.ly/2v6osVD.