April 1983 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

MarAd And USCG To Merge Ship Locator Systems

The Maritime Administration (MarAd) and the U.S. Coast Guard have approved a merger of global ship reporting systems which is expected to lead to quicker response to distress calls from ships at sea.

Adm. James S. Gracey, Commandant of the Coast Guard, and Adm. Harold E. Shear, USN (ret.), Maritime Administrator, announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement that will merge MarAd's U.S. Merchant Vessel Locator Filing System (USMER) into the Coast Guard's Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) this summer. The Coast Guard will administer the combined system.

In a joint statement, Admirals Gracey and Shear said: "The merger will speed the flow and processing of information that is vital to maritime safety. Through this single computerized system, one ship-locator report will satisfy the requirements of the present two systems and the communications network for transmission of the reports will be expanded and improved at no cost either to the U.S. taxpayer or any participating shipowner in the world.

"It will speed and simplify the ship reports now required under USMER by making available AMVER's worldwide network of some 120 radio stations, compared to the 12 stations now in use by MarAd. Notable improvement is anticipated in the transmission of reports from remote areas, currently beyond the range of the 12 USMER stations. By the same token, safety at sea will be enhanced because of the faster and increased number of reports into the Coast Guard System.

AMVER currently is an allvoluntary system operated in the interest of safety of ships of all nations.

When the systems are merged this summer, USMER reports will be suspended and AMVER reports will become mandatory for those vessels previously required to file under the USMER system.

Other stories from April 1983 issue


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