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September 21, 2007

Rescue Beacon Frequency to be Terminated

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The International COSPAS-SARSAT Program, which operates a series of low-altitude and geostationary satellites to aid in search and rescue, plans to phase out satellite processing of the 121.5/243 MHz frequency alerts on February 1, 2009. The high number of false alerts from devices operating on the frequency predicated the decision, which was recommended by two agencies of the United Nations: the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization. Users of Emergency Locator Transmitters (used on aircraft), Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (used by land-based personnel) operating on the 121.5/243 MHz frequency should replace their devices with those that operate on the more reliable 406 MHz. For more information, visit http://www.cospas-sarsat.org.