AMSA seeking feedback on ceasing HF monitoring
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is seeking feedback on the proposal to cease HF radiotelephone monitoring of distress and safety communications in Australia on 1 January 2022.
The state and Northern Territory marine agencies or volunteer marine rescue organisations monitor the HF radiotelephone distress and safety calling frequencies.
The proposal to cease monitoring has come from the Maritime Agencies Forum (MAF), a national body that enables marine safety agencies to identify, agree and monitor the ongoing work required to implement the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV), which coordinates technical maritime safety advice and operational maritime policy nationally.
However, the use of HF radiotelephone as the first and only means of distress and safety calling has steadily declined.
In the four-year period to March 2018, there were only two distress and six urgency communications initiated by vessels, where only HF radiotelephone was used.
The consultation applies to all vessel categories; however, vessels operating outside VHF coast station range and without a global maritime distress safety system (GMDSS) radio, such as Inmarsat, or HF digital selective calling radio are those mostly affected.
The full consultation paper can be found here.
The consultation is open for eight weeks from 1 October 2019 until 29 November 2019. Guidance on how to provide feedback can be found here.
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