cwop.gif (2822 bytes)MORSE CODE

last updates 02 March 1999 23:00


from the Daily Telegraph
3rd April 1995

The dramatic dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot of the SOS from ships in peril on the sea will no longer be heard on the American Coast.

After nearly 100 years the United States Coast Guard turned off its Morse Code equipment at the weekend because satellites and navigation beacons have superseded the old system. There were only two Morse distress signals last year.

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(originally published in the World Utility Network Nautical News edited by Day Watson)

April's SEA BREEZES (UK magazine) arrived with a few paragraphs headed

Morse is Dead

The gist is:-

"It has officially been announced by the Marine Safety Agency (MSA) that the Morse Distress Watch, in use since 1912, is to be replaced by more modern means of communication. This discontinuation of the watch on 500 Mhz [not a misprint of mine!] takes place on December 31 this year, rather earlier than the full changeover to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) on February 1, 1999. The MSA believes that around the UK there are sufficient alternative communication facilities"

The MSA is responsible for the policy of watch or no watch contracting British Telecom to implement the mechanics of such a watch.

That being the case how long BT maintains 500kHz beyond the end of this year for commercial purposes remains to be seen.

I'm advised by Glenn Dunstan that Australia intends maintaining 500 khz until the full changeover.

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