DSC, AIS, ARC, Capt Chris Kourtakis – original

“Effective March 25, 2011, The FCC Will Ban Radios That Lack A Dedicated Channel For Digital Selective Calling”

Highlights from this Segment

– Which channel on your VHF is designated strictly for emergencies

– Why this automation is the best thing since sliced bread (so to speak)

– How this channel can save a life much faster than channel 16

– How just a push of a button starts the rescue process rolling


(transcript for this segment)  

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Here’s what you’ll discover in this presentation…

  • What you need to know about DSC, AIS, and how they work together
  • The single most useful technique of automated radio checks
  • Uncover the best place on the internet to learn about DSC
  • The #1 reason to get an MMSI number
  • Two tools you can use today for a quick and successful rescue
  • The fastest way for the US Coast Guard to find you and your boat
  • A simple way to register or update your DSC equipment
  • An insider secret to the Automated Identification System
  • How to avoid putting yourself and others in harm’s way inside a shipping channel
  • The monster do’s and don’ts for talking on channel 16

About Captain Chris

Captain Chris Kourtakis has been boating for 20 years and has been in the marine industry for over 15 years. He owns H2O Limos, offering yacht rentals and on-water boating courses, based in Michigan.


Robin: Chris, what if there was more than one emergency at a time? Like multiple people using channel 16?

Chris: Well, that’s one of the biggest issues with channel 16 as we had talked about earlier with the people doing radio checks on channel 16. It gets tied up. And, if there are multiple emergencies, sometimes when more than one person is using the radio on a consistent basis, it will tie up channel 16 and a lot of times the Coast Guard, if you are in an emergency situation, they may ask you to switch to something else if it’s not deemed a lifesaving emergency. But, that’s where DSC really comes in because it doesn’t tie up channel 16 or anything else like that. You hit the button and you’ve got a dedicated channel on your radio that goes through the transmission received by someone who is monitoring the other side and they will automatically send help to you. So, therefore, you always know that your call is going through versus sitting there hailing May Day May Day May Day and hoping somebody can respond. The main, the odds of having several or multiple instances at the same time where the other stations can’t respond is slim to none, but I mean it does happen because there’s some people who get caught in storms or something like that. A great example here is there was an issue over the weekend on the water and 3 different Coast Guard stations picked up the response. The closest one then responded to it allowing the channel, then, to open up for other people. But, it’s also based on distance to, so if there’s a lot of people in the area using channel 16 it could potentially tie it up a little bit. Where, somebody may or may not be able to get their information through, where the DSC will automatically get that information through. 

Robin: Ok, so you mentioned a dedicated channel, is that channel 70 that the DSC and the radios are now going to make available?

Chris:  Yup. Absolutely. It’s automatically programmed into your VHF radio and when you do hit the DSC on your GPS it automatically will transmit on channel 70 through your radio and then transpond directly through. And, you’ll notice this when you’re flipping through your VHF radio. You can’t get on channel 70 – or when I say you can’t get, you can’t dial to it so that you can use it as a speaking station. It is designated strictly for DSC emergencies. And only certain receivers that the Coast Guard uses will actually receive that information. Now, I also have a DSC radio myself, so if a DSC emergency does come out and I am within the area, my receiver will also pick that up so that I can potentially respond to the emergency and help someone out. I will get that broadcast on channel 70 and my radio will automatically switch. But, yeah, that’s another great feature of the DSC. It doesn’t tie up a line and you know that that’s always going to go through because somebody can’t be on that line using it for speaking or just conversation with other people.

Robin: Ok, that sounds good. So, what happens if someone is trying to put a scam out … 


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