(Continued from page 12)
Top-quality service and products.
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Experienced instructors with real-world
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P.O. Box 465, Kodiak, AK 99615
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530 Briar Rd., Bellingham, WA 98225
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P.O. Box 56, Surry, ME 04684
1596 Bayard Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
89 Hicks St., Apt. 4D
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Santa Cruz Port District
135 5th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062
3501 Industrial 29th St.
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219 Spring Mill Dr., Galloway, NJ 08205
931 Village Blvd., Ste. 905-500
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220 Duncan Mill Rd., Ste. 520
Toronto, ON M3B 3J5 Canada
17260 Muskrat Ave.
Adelanto, CA 92301
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monitors non-GMDSS systems such as the Automatic Identification System (AIS), the Long Range
Identification and Tracking system (LRIT), Voyage
Data Recorders (VDR), the Ship Security Alerting
System (SSAS), the Vessel Monitoring Systems
(VMS) used to monitor fishing vessels and issues
relating to electronic navigation. Subordinate task
groups have been established focusing their interest as follows:
Service Agents and Manufacturers Group:
Issues dealing with GMDSS equipment and
interfaces to navigation receivers. Servicing
Agents have assisted the Task Force efforts to
enable navigation receivers to be connected to
Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radios. In general this group deals with most issues of interest to NMEA members.
Commercial Vessels Group:
Issues dealing with commercial vessels,
especially those bel SOLAS tonnage for which
regulations are a national issue. This group
develops checklists for various periodic inspections and recently formulated regulatory proposals to the Coast Guard and FCC regarding
fishing vessels and small passenger vessels.
Recreational Vessels Group:
Issues dealing with radio safety for these
unregulated private craft. This group works
with the Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety
to develop checklists for voluntary inspections
and encourages voluntary fitting of safety radio
equipment. It maintains liaison with the Coast
Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadrons
and the Association of State Boating Law
Issues dealing with training of deck officers,
radio operators and equipment maintainers.
This group wrote the questions for the qualifying exams and has upgraded the questions as
necessary. The Training Group is trying to
improve the qualifications for GMDSS Maintainers beyond just passing the required multiple-choice exam. Another issue this group
advocates is requiring periodic recertification
of GMDSS operator licenses, which are currently issued for life of the holder.
GMDSS Modernization Group:
A temporary group established to aid in the
IMO’s effort to modernize the GMDSS. Even
though the changes seem minor at this point,
the cumbersome IMO procedures will ensure
several more years of activity and review. One
major new initiative is the expected acceptance
of the Iridium satellite system as an official
Current issues. The Task Force has made numerous recommendations to the FCC and the Coast
Guard, many of which have been accepted. The
most significant issue still pending is a recommendation to the Coast Guard that they use their
authority to require emergency beacons on recreational vessels that go more than 3 miles offshore.
Other ongoing management issues include efforts
to better manage the MMSI (Maritime Mobile
Service Identity) numbers used for identification
in DSC radios and AIS units and how to deal with
the fact that a sizeable percentage of recreational
vessels use DSC radios but don’t bother to register
for an MMSI number or connect a GPS receiver.
Use of smart cell phones in lieu of VHF has progressed to the point that the Coast Guard receives
most of their short-range alerts by cell phone but
at least the smart phones provide a position. A new
initiative is how best to recommend proper cybersecurity fundamentals for various sectors of the
For more information, contact the Task Force Director,
Captain John (Jack) Fuechsel, USCG (Ret.),
email@example.com, 703-963-3747. We are always
eager for more input and look forward to a productive
session with you in Seattle.