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