New USCG Rescue 21 System, N. Calif.

Monday, February 22, 2010
Photo courtesy USCG

The U.S. Coast Guard formally accepted and introduced its new Rescue 21 advanced communications system at Group Humboldt Bay on Feb. 16. This new capability, which will eventually be introduced nationwide, increases the ability of Coast Guard men and women to execute all of their missions, especially their search and rescue mission, with greater agility and efficiency.  The Feb. 16 ceremony included speeches from senior, local, and national Coast Guard officials.

Rescue 21 is an advanced command, control and communications system that was created to better locate mariners in distress and save lives and property at sea and on navigable rivers.  As the marine version of 9-1-1, it facilitates better communication and interoperability in emergency situations.  With its advanced direction finding capabilities and increased range, Rescue 21 helps the Coast Guard better “hear the call” and quickly respond to boaters in distress, as well as to identify hoax distress calls made from land that can unnecessarily divert Coast Guard assets and manpower.  The acceptance of the system on Feb. 16 formally brings those capabilities to Group Humboldt Bay and increases total U.S. coastline currently covered by Rescue 21 to more than 34,000 miles.

“It is important for the Lost Coast mariners to know that Rescue 21 works seamlessly with their current marine VHF radios.  Commercial and recreational boaters do not need to update any of their current gear to experience the benefits of the new system.  That being said, all mariners with digital selective calling capable transceivers are encouraged to connect those units with their GPS systems so that the Coast Guard will be able to digitally receive position data from them in the event of an emergency,” said Ens. Andrew Jarolimek, communications center supervisor for Group Humboldt Bay.

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