By Mickey Kavera – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The National Maritime Safety Authority is working on improving communication with vessels out at sea.
Today it commissioned its Coastal Radio Station, to ensure effective communication is maintained to minimize maritime incidents.
The Station is funded in partnership with Australian Aid at a cost of K8 million kina.
The Coastal Radio System is a vital part of maritime communication.
But it has been dormant over the years, since it was destroyed during the 1994 Rabaul Volcanic Eruption.
The National Maritime Safety Authority has since taken over from Telikom to operate the Coastal Radio System.
In August 2014, NMSA took steps to revive this service.
The purpose of the coastal maritime system is to facilitate effective communication with vessels out at sea, and to ensure distress calls are monitored to minimise maritime accidents.
Small craft operators are encouraged to utilise this service while at sea.
They can access this service using a marine VHF radio through the distress and safety frequency channel 16 and 12.
Small crafts are also advised to have an emergency position indicating radio beacon.The beacon once activated by a distressed vessel can be picked up by other vessels out at sea within a radius of 5km.
The coverage of the coastal radio system is a working progress and NMSA hopes to have the coverage improved.