Watch Those Channel-Switching VHFs

 maritime safety, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Watch Those Channel-Switching VHFs
Apr 142010
 

image The US Coast Guard has warned that an automatic channel switching feature found on some Digital Selective Calling, DSC, equipped VHF marine radios may create an unintended hazard by automatically switching from a working channel that might be in use at the time to Channel 16 when the VHF marine radio receives a DSC distress alert, distress alert acknowledgment or other DSC call where a VHF channel number has been designated.

This could happen without a vessel/radio operator’s immediate knowledge and could initiate an unsafe condition by which the vessel/radio operators would believe they were communicating on a working channel such as Channel 13 when, in fact, they were actually on Channel 16.

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