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A resolution to require emergency locator beacons

The National Boating Safety Advisory Council, meeting in regular session in Watsonville, Calif., on Nov. 11, 2012, recommends that the U.S. Coast Guard require, effective 7/1/2015, all U.S. recreational vessels operating offshore at a distance to be determined from the coastline of the United States by the U.S. Coast Guard carry a properly registered emergency locator beacon.The requirement to carry an emergency locator beacon is waived for U.S. recreational vessels operating between 3 to 20 nautical miles off the coast of the continental United States, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the shoreline of the Great Lakes provided the vessel carries a VHF-DSC marine radiotelephone (fixed-mount or handheld) with connected or integral GPS positioning capability and a programmed MMSI number.

For the purposes of this resolution, the definition of an emergency locator beacon shall be “a radio beacon that can be used for emergency locating purposes for a recreational boater. The term includes a Coast Guard-approved emergency position indicating radio beacon, personal locator beacon or other device approved by the Coast Guard for this purpose.”

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February 2013 issue