Skip to main content

Freq out: U.S. Coast Guard ceases monitoring channel 2182 kHz

Posted by PA1 Sara Mooers, Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Coast Guard members participating in the tower climb
training rotate through the beginning stages of rescue
training by ascending and descending from the 150-foot
point of the 300-foot tower at Communications
Station Kodiak Aug. 25, 2003, in Kodiak, Alaska.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty officer 3rd Class Sara Raymer. - In this digital era, new technologies put endless information at our fingertips. However, as we trudge into a future once imagined only as science fiction, older technologies become outdated, joining cassette tapes, camera film and floppy discs in the back seat of history.

On Aug. 1, the Coast Guard stopped monitoring radiotelephone medium frequency 2182 kHz, an internationally known distress frequency designated for mariners 65 years ago.

“As satellite communications become cheaper and more accessible, mariners begin to rely less on HF (high frequency) communications,” said Chief Petty Officer Nathan Fairchild, an operations specialist at Coast Guard Communication Station Kodiak. “Satellite communications, especially in the Lower 48, have a great signal, whereas 2182 kHz in the Lower 48, or anywhere for that matter, can be very staticky and hard to hear.”

Advancements in satellite, digital, very high frequency and high frequency radio equipment are not the only factors making medium frequency radiotelephone communications obsolete.

According to a Coast Guard Notice published in the Federal Register July 15, the site deterioration, costly upkeep and extensive maintenance required to support this legacy medium frequency system, as well as the relatively minimal use by mariners, led the Coast Guard to discontinue supporting it.

“2182 kHz would have periods up to 30 minutes in length where mariners were required to stay silent, allowing only serious emergency calls to come through,” Fairchild said. “The frequency became somewhat of a taboo, and mariners began using other channels to conduct communications.”

Fairchild also explained that time of day had an effect on the quality of the transmission, as solar rays interfered with the signal, making it most reliable at night.

Many countries stopped using frequency 2182 kHz after 1999, but the Coast Guard kept watch over the signal to support smaller vessels operating 20 to 100 miles from shore. Those vessels were not subject to the Convention of Life at Sea regulations followed by mariners today.

Although 2182 kHz was not a primary frequency, mariners need to remain vigilant and ensure they have multiple forms of communication while operating on the open water.

“If you are within 20 miles offshore, VHF radio channel 16 is the best way to hail the Coast Guard,” Fairchild said. “Any further than that you need to have an HF radio tuned up to the 4125 kHz frequency, or if you could get your hands on it, satellite phones would be ideal.”

The 2182 kHz emergency frequency was established during the International Telecommunications Conference in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1947.


Popular posts from this blog

Crabbers get a boost in bairdi Tanner quotas

LAINE WELCH Image via Wikipedia FISHERIES Published: November 7th, 2009 10:10 PM Last Modified: November 7th, 2009 10:12 PM KODIAK -- Kodiak and Alaska Peninsula crabbers got some good news last week -- bigger catch quotas for bairdi Tanner crab, a mid-January fishery important to local economies. Bairdi are the larger cousins of the better-known opilio Tanners, or snow crab. The bairdi boost stems from a big pulse of new crab recruits that biologists have been tracking for years. "That is what's fueling the increase in the harvest this year. We're just getting the very beginning of that year class," said.........

#01-14-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

Chinook Conservation, Trawling and Permit-Stacking Addressed by BoF Jan 13, 2014 View of Kodiak from Pillar Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) Jay Barrett/KMXT The Alaska Board of Fisheries wrapped up its Kodiak area meetings on Friday afternoon at the Harbor Convention Center. KMXT’s Jay Barrett spoke with board Chairman Karl Johnstone about some of the decisions that came out of the meeting, and how the meeting schedule may change in the future..... 3:32 PM MON JANUARY 13, 2014 The Dillingham City Council Opposes Passage of House Bill 77 By MIKE MASON The Dillingham City Council has come out in opposition to a bill that is expected to be a major focus of attention during the next session of the Alaska Legislature. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details..... PORT STUDY Corps draft feasibility study on ports due in March

Danish commandos 'monitoring hippies' on Arctic offshore rig #artcticloons

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr Alaska Dispatch | May 31, 2011 Armed Danish commandos have (possibly) been summoned to monitor Earth-loving "hippies" clinging to the underbelly of an Arctic deepwater oil rig  off the coast of Greenland , sources say. The environmental non-governmental group  Greenpeace  has published  statements and  video  showing its activists aboard two ships that are attempting to "interfere" with oil exploration going on in the Davis Strait, 100 miles west of Greenland. This business has in turn prompted the Kingdom of Denmark to launch two ships and a few helicopters to monitor the Greenpeace interference. The  Leiv Eriksson  is the source of all this Arctic bait and switch. British oil company  Cairn Energy  is attempting to drill four wells at depths of at least 5,000 feet this summer in "iceberg-strewn sea" with the 53,000-ton offshore oil rig, which has made its way to Arctic waters after a month of failed attempts by Green