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  Distress Alerts: How to Cancel Accidental Alerts

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Author Topic:   Distress Alerts: How to Cancel Accidental Alerts
jimh posted 11-20-2011 07:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Many recreational boats are equipped with VHF Marine Band radios with digital selective calling that includes a distress alert transmission button. If you accidentally trigger your VHF Marine Band radio to send a distress alert, you should immediately cancel the distress alert by following this procedure:

--switch off transmitter immediately;

--switch equipment on and set to Channel 16; and

--make broadcast to "All Stations" giving the ship's name, call sign and DSC number, and cancel the false distress alert.

The USCG policy regarding inadvertent false distress transmission is in accordance with these guidelines:

-- Notwithstanding the above, ships may use any means available to them to inform the appropriate authorities that a false distress alert has been transmitted and should be cancelled.

--No action will normally be taken against any ship or mariner for reporting and cancelling a false distress alert. However, in view of the serious consequences of false alerts, and the strict ban on their transmission, Governments may prosecute in cases of repeated violations.


The above source also gives advice on how to cancel accidental satellite search and rescue beacon activations.

When the USCG mentions "DSC number" I believe they intend to refer to a vessels marine mobile service identity (MMSI).

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