JUNEAU, Alaska - The Coast Guard wishes to remind all boaters that beginning January 1, 2007, both 121.5 and 243 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are prohibited from use in both commercial and recreational watercraft in Alaska, and worldwide. Boaters requiring an emergency rescue beacon aboard their vessel must have a digital 406 MHz model.
The January 1, 2007, date to stop using 121.5 MHz EPIRBs is in preparation for the February 1, 2009 deadline when satellite processing of distress signals from all 121.5/243 MHz beacons will terminate. Following this termination date, only the 406 MHz beacons will be detected by the International Cospas-Sarsat Satellite System which provides distress alert and location data for search and rescue operations around the world.
The regulation applies to all Class A, B, and S 121.5/243 MHz EPIRBs. It does not affect 121.5/243 MHz man overboard devices which are designed to work directly with a base alerting unit only and not with the satellite system.
The full article is here: http://www.uscgalaska.com/go/doc/780/140048/