Skip to main content

Coast Guard To End MF Frequency Guard


Beginning Aug. 1, the U. S. Coast Guard will end its radio guard of the international voice distress, safety and calling frequency 2182 kHz and the international digital selective calling (DSC) distress and safety frequency 2187.5 kHz. Additionally, marine information and weather broadcasts transmitted on 2670 kHz will terminate concurrently.

The 2182 kHz frequencyis analogous to channel 16 on the marine VHF band, but unlike VHF which is limited to ranges of about 20 to 50 nautical miles (depending on antenna height), communications on 2182 kHz and nearby frequencies have a reliable range of around 50 to 150 nautical miles during the day and 150 to 300 nautical miles or more at night.

The frequency inhabits the MF or medium frequency spectrum on a single-sideband radio. According to a member of an advisory board on radio policy, The infrastructure for monitoring MF is failing, and antenna installations alone would cost a “staggering” amount of money to replace.

The Coast Guard will continue to maintain a continuous watch on VHF FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz) and on existing voice and DSC frequencies in the 4/6/8/12 MHz bands as described in the Coast Guard Navigation Center website.