BOATERS: analog emergency distress beacons will no longer work!
Don't get stranded! NOAA has stopped monitoring 121.5 Mhz.
FLORIDA: Boaters could end up stranded if they haven't upgraded their emergency distress beacons by this weekend.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will stop using its satellites to monitor the 121.5 MHz frequency used by older analog boater distress beacons.
The signals come from devices known as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons, also known as EPIRBs.
For recreational boaters, EPIRBs are not mandatory but are required for commercial vessels operating more than three nautical miles offshore.
Like the switchover to digital TV this year, the changeover to digital EPIRBs has been in the works for years.
Like most boating equipment the cost is not cheep: EPIRBs range from $400 to $1,000.
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