Ask SAIL: Coast Guard on SSB?
J. Hillier, Mill Valley, California asks:
I heard the Coast Guard will no longer be monitoring distress frequencies for marine SSB radios.
How can we get help when beyond VHF range?
Gordon West replies:
The Coast Guard stopped monitoring SSB distress frequency 2182 kHz throughout the country on August 1, 2013. It also stopped monitoring its 2187.5 kHz DSC digital distress channel, and no longer broadcasts marine and weather information on 2670 kHz. However, this termination of services on the Coast Guard’s 2 MHz frequency distress channels is no big deal, as the 2 MHz band has very limited range.
The Coast Guard’s long-range marine SSB Communications Stations (COMSTA) and long-range marine SSB Communications Master Stations (CAMS) will continue guarding all other DSC distress channels, as well as the voice channels on 4125 kHz, 6215 kHz , 8291 kHz and 12290 kHz. Of course, all Coast Guard assets will also continue to monitor the VHF voice channel 16 and the VHF DSC distress channel 70.