Press Gang News

U. S. Coast Guard to stop monitoring EPIRB frequency
on February 1, 2009

Release Date: January 28, 2009

Please remember that these news items were important at the time of their release, but no longer have any urgency. So it is not necessary to follow up on them.

Dear Good Old Boater,

We came across this piece of information, courtesy of BoatU.S. The
United States Coast Guard will stop monitoring the old EPIRB frequency
(121 Mhz) beginning on February 1, 2009. COSPAS/SARSAT, the
international satellite-based search and rescue organization, made this
decision nearly 9 years ago, giving mariners time to transition to the
new 406 Mhz technology.

So while the landlubbers make their TVs transition to digital, sailors,
especially those of us who frequently sail more than 20 miles away from
the shoreline, need to make sure we're using the new 406 MHz
technology. The BoatU.S. Foundation rents the new 406 Mhz EPIRB for $40
a week and reports that the retail price for the new equipment and
installation runs about $500.

Hopefully none of us will have to, but we should all be aware of how to
signal the Coast Guard for help when out of cell phone range and VHF
coverage. For more information, see Don Launer's Signaling for Help 101
in our January 2009 issue, visit, or
call the EPIRB (888-663-7472).

Safe Sailing!

Karen, Jerry, and the Good Old Boat Crew.

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