With the help of amateur- radio enthusiast Glenn Tuttle, the Seven Seas Cruising Association has a new high-frequency radio voice service for sailors in the Caribbean who are without a cellular or Internet connection. Tuttle says, “The purpose of this service is to pass emergency and priority traffic, safety and security issues and to provide any vessels needing assistance with land-based resources.” The radio service can help cruisers who need a radio check or who want to share float plans, telephone family and friends, relay a message to another boat, access medical or mechanical professionals, or contact a marina or other assistance. All vessels are welcome to participate in this service provided by the SSCA.
In order to reach the entire Caribbean and Bahamas, the SSCA needed a high-power, land-based antenna system and had to acquire a public coast license from the FCC. The SSCA is now authorized to operate under the call sign KPK (Kilo Papa Kilo) from southwest Florida. Tuttle has erected a 70-foot tower with a rotatable beam antenna tuned to the 8 MHz marine band, which will effectively reach the entire Caribbean and beyond.
KPK will be standing by between 0700 and 0730 Eastern Standard Time (1200 to 1230 UTC) on frequency 8.104 for any vessel needing assistance. Additionally, KPK has been standing by after the Cruiseheimers morning net on 8.152 at 0830 EST, and after Dick Giddings’ KNC Doo-Dah evening net on 8.152 at 1700 EST.
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