Mariners are being urged to buy new
digital emergency distress beacons for the upcoming arrival of the
digital age at sea.
Beginning Feb. 1, satellites that scan the Gulf of Maine and
other ocean waters for emergency distress signals will stop
listening for analog tracking transmitters.
That means the older analog beacons that are mandatory on
ocean-going fishing boats and other commercial vessels will become
The Coast Guard says the changeover to digital has been in the
works for years, but officials are concerned that some mariners
have put off the expense of buying the newer digital beacons until
the last minute.