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  • CG boating Safety

    Where would I find information about education opportunities provided by the CG?

    And is there a way to "test" my distress button on my VHF radio with out causing an actual response? The radio is DSC and I have a registered MMSI number.
    Last edited by WinMag; 09-27-2006, 22:27. Reason: spelling error

  • #2
    Education Opportunities

    WinMag:
    Sorry about the late reply, I've been out of town for the past week. You can find information on CG education opportunities through the Coast Guard Auxiliary at http://a170.uscgaux.info/ or call me at (907) 463-2297 and I'll get you hooked up.
    There really isn't a way to "test" your distress button. Here's what happens when you push the red button on a DSC equipped radio: The radio will send out a distress message to all DSC equipped stations (which do NOT include the Coast Guard at this time!). If your radio is connected to your GPS, the message will include your position. Other boats with DSC capabilities can pick up the message, but until more boats are equipped with DSC, your best bet is still a "Mayday" on VHF Ch. 16, because more boats and the CG should hear you. If you were to "test" the distress button, you wouldn't necessarily know if it works...at least until a rescue shows up (don't think I need to remind you of the civil penalties for a false mayday....)
    Here's the bottom line: the distress button can only be depended on as a partial solution; same as any other life-saving device. When you are in trouble, there's really only one silver bullet: your brain. What you do with what you have makes all the difference in the world and even with all the best equipment and training available, there are no guarantees. I just finished a great book called "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales and the author goes into great detail why people live or die. Great read! Keep in touch! Mike

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