Wednesday, December 27, 2006

USPS offers membership to Coast Guard Auxiliary members and Coast Guard licensees

To make the benefits of membership in the United States Power Squadron available to members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Coast Guard license holders, the following additions were approved as meeting the exam requirements for USPS membership:

Members of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary who have successfully completed any CGAUX course or certification program.

Any individual that has passed the following US Coast Guard license programs:
  • Launch Operator
  • OUPV (Six-pack)
  • Master’s license

In addition, to acknowledge the skills and education these members have attained, USPS is recognizing successful completion of the following CGAUX courses and CG licensing programs:

  • CGAUX Boating Skills and Seamanship or Sailing Skills and Seamanship will receive credit for the USPS Seamanship course.

  • CGAUX Basic Coastal Navigation will receive credit for the USPS Piloting course.

  • CGAUX Advanced Coastal Navigation will receive credit for the USPS Advanced Piloting course.

  • Coast Guard Launch Operator will receive credit for the USPS Boat Smart course.

  • Coast Guard OUPV (Six-pack) will receive credit for the USPS Seamanship course.

  • Coast Guard Master’s license (up to 50 tons) will receive credit for USPS Seamanship, Piloting and Advanced Piloting.

The changes are effective immediately.

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    A Visit to Portugal

    • P/Lt/C Marvin Wackley visited Portugal recently and sent the following email and photos:

      Attached are three photos I took in Portugal at the original site of "Prince Henry the Navigator's" original navigators school on the south western coast of Portugal at the town of Sagres. Photo #1 is an obelisk honoring "Prince Henry the Navigator"; Photo #3 is the plaque dedicated May 22, 1965 by the US Power Squadron, Walter J. Sutcliffe, N Chief Commander; Photo #2 is the plaque dedicated to the "second pilgrimage" dated September 16, 1987, Richard W. Miner Chief, N, Chief Commander.

    • Obelisk honoring "Prince Henry the Navigator"

    • The
      United States Power Squadrons
      Honors the memory of
      Prince Henry the Navigator
      1394 - 1460
      Whose School of Navigation,
      founded on this site, opened the way
      for worldwide explorations in the
      great age of discovery.
      Dedicated at Sagres,
      this twenty-second day of May 1965

      Walter J Sutcliffe, N, Chief Commander

    • United States Power Squadrons
      Second pilgramage to Sagres
      to honor the memory of
      Prince Henry the Navigator
      16 September 1987
      Richard W. Miner, N, Chief Commander

    Friday, December 08, 2006


    DATE: December 08, 2006 13:47:51 EST
    Office of Public Affairs
    U.S. Coast Guard

    Date: Dec. 8, 2006

    Contact: Steve Blando


    WASHINGTON - The Coast Guard reminds all boaters that beginning January 1, 2007, both 121.5 and 243 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are prohibited from use in both commercial and recreational watercraft. Boaters wishing to have an emergency rescue beacon aboard their vessel must have a digital 406 MHz model.

    The January 1, 2007, date to stop using 121.5 MHz EPIRBs is in preparation for February 1, 2009, when satellite processing of distress signals from all 121.5/243 MHz beacons will terminate. Following this termination date, only the 406 MHz beacons will be detected by the International Cospas-Sarsat Satellite System which provides distress alert and location data for search and rescue operations around the world.

    The regulation applies to all Class A, B, and S 121.5/243 MHz EPIRBs. It does not affect 121.5/243 MHz man overboard devices which are designed to work directly with a base alerting unit only and not with the satellite system.

    This change, in large part, was brought about by the unreliability of the 121.5/243 MHz beacons in an emergency situation. Data reveals that with a 121.5 MHz beacon, only one alert out of every 50 is a genuine distress situation. This has a significant effect on expending the limited resources of search and rescue personnel and platforms. With 406 MHz beacons, false alerts have been reduced significantly, and, when properly registered, can usually be resolved with a telephone call to the beacon owner. Consequently, real alerts can receive the attention they deserve.

    When a 406 MHz beacon signal is received, search and rescue personnel can retrieve information from a registration database. This includes the beacon owner's contact information, emergency contact information, and vessel/aircraft identifying characteristics. Having this information allows the Coast Guard, or other rescue personnel, to respond appropriately.

    In the U.S., users are required by law to directly register their beacon in the U.S. 406 MHz Beacon Registration Database at: or by calling 1-888-212-SAVE. Other users can register their beacon in their country's national beacon registration database or, if no national database is available, in the International Beacon Registration Database at

    The United States Coast Guard is the lead agency for coordinating national maritime search and rescue policy and is responsible for providing search and rescue services on, under and over assigned international waters and waters subject to United States jurisdiction.


    The U.S. Coast Guard is a military, maritime, multi-mission service within the Department of Homeland Security dedicated to protecting the safety and security of America.