The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the US Coast Guard is pushing to turn off satellite detection of the ubiquitous 121.5 MHz emergency beacon. Unfortunately they plan on doing it at the height of the southern hemisphere summer, the 1st of February 2009. After the satellite detection is switched off, the only way the beacon would be heard is by a plane passing overhead.
So if you’re a British yachtsperson sailing around the world and you’re planning on getting into distress off the coast of Oz early next year, make sure you’ve updated your EPIRBs to the 406 MHz model, or you might find yourself floating home. This has been a community service announcement.
Photo from Flickr