Coast Guard requests all mariners to inspect VHF Marine Radios

CHARLESTON, S.C.— The Coast Guard has received multiple uncorrelated distress calls on the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) system carried over a VHF marine radio in the Hilton Head and Beaufort, South Carolina area over the past few months.

These DSC calls are originating from an unregistered radio displaying an MMSI address of 100000001.

The first signal was received by the Coast Guard on April 26, 2021, ceased in July of 2021, and resumed intermittent transmissions in February 2022, causing interference with marine radio traffic in the Hilton Head and Beaufort, South Carolina area.

False distress calls have the potential to mask genuine distress calls and overwhelm the search and rescue system’s ability to respond to emergencies. The Coast Guard urges all mariners to check their VHF radios and contact the Coast Guard if you have any information about the faulty radio at 843-740-7050.

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