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USCG Proposes to Cease Monitoring HF Voice Distress Frequencies


In another example of how communications technology is changing, we have this from the Federal Register, November 20:


"The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to cease monitoring four, High Frequency (HF) voice distress frequencies within the contiguous United States and Hawaii because they are rarely used. We would continue to monitor HF Digital Selective Calling

(DSC) distress alerting for all existing regions and voice distress and hailing from Kodiak, Alaska and Guam. We invite your comments on this proposed action..."


"The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to cease monitoring four, HF-voice-distress frequencies in the contiguous United States and Hawaii due to the lack of activity on these frequencies. During a 6-year period, there were four potential distress calls heard over these four voice frequencies; none required a Coast Guard response. These four voice frequencies, which we propose to cease monitoring in the contiguous United States and Hawaii, are: 4125 kHz; 6215 kHz; 8291 kHz; and 12290 kHz.


"Monitoring of HF DSC frequencies for all existing regions and voice distress and hailing from Kodiak, Alaska and Guam would not be affected by this proposed action. There would also be no change in service to Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, or American Samoa since these U.S. territories do not currently have HF infrastructure.


"We believe this change would have a low impact on the maritime public as commercial satellite radios and DSC-marine-Single-Sideband HF radios have become more prevalent onboard vessels."


You can read more here (PDF), including a discussion of their rationale and how to comment. In short, they Comments are due by January 19, 2021.

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