Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Waterford, WI.
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Just my .02 worth.
It may take a while to get fully implimented but DSC radio should help this situation, both for the CG and concerned boaters.
(Taken from West Marine site)
The importance of Digital Selective Calling
This year the Coast Guard is scheduled to complete the upgrade of their coastal Search and Rescue capabilities, known as Rescue 21. In the next few years, Rescue 21 will eliminate gaps in VHF coverage over the entire coastal US, allow accurate, precise tracking of the location of mayday signals within 20 miles of the coast, and allow enhanced digital recording and playback of distress calls.
All fixed VHF radios now are required to include DSC capability. If your DSC-equipped radio is interfaced with a GPS receiver it will be able to transmit crucial vessel information, your position and, with some higher-end radios, the nature of your distress call (undesignated, fire, flooding, collision, grounding, capsize, sinking, adrift, abandoning, piracy, MOB). In an emergency, one push of a button will make your DSC radio send an automated digital distress alertólike a VHF-frequency EPIRBócontaining your position and Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number to rescue facilities and other DSC-equipped vessels. We think that these automated distress capabilities are the single best reason to consider replacement of your non-DSC radio, even if it is still working like new.
Hope this helps,