Coast Guard Expands Rescue 21 (1/4)
Thursday, January 04, 2007 | Comments
The U.S. Coast Guard announced the switch to new command, control, and communications technology monitoring distress calls throughout Puget Sound, the strait of Juan de Fuca, and the west coast of Washington, north of the Quinault Indian Reservation. Rescue 21 allows the Coast Guard to monitor digital selective calling (DSC) emergency transmissions. When properly registered with a maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) number and interfaced with a GPS receiver, a DSC distress call provides the Coast Guard a vessel's identity and exact location, greatly improving emergency response. Rescue 21 also includes advanced direction-finding capability, allowing Coast Guard watchstanders to more accurately locate the source of a VHF distress call. A $730 million acquisition project and the second largest within the Coast Guard, Rescue 21 will replace the Coast Guard's aging National Distress and Response System, built three decades ago. Once fully implemented, the technology will cover 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline and inland waterways.

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