Malin Head, Eire station begins transmission 1 April

Gaps in the Navtex broadcasting service experienced in west Scotland should be a thing of the past thanks to a joint UK-Irish project.

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been working with the Irish Coastguard over the winter months in trialling the broadcast of Met Office inshore weather forecasts and outlooks from the Irish Navtex site at Malin Head (pictured in the recent snow).

A full service will be operational from the 1st April 2010 .

The following inshore waters sea areas will be broadcast at 0000 then every 4 hrs. Mariners should select B1 Character ‘A’ on 490 kHz .

Steve Huxley, Search and Rescue Communications Manager at Falmouth Coastguard said: “The UK has very much appreciated the help given by the Irish Coastguard in using their Navtex site to fill in gaps of coverage which could not be provided by the UK infrastructure over North West Scotland.”

Areas covered by Malin Head Navtex on 490 kHz:

•    Lough Foyle to Carlingford Lough

•    Mull of Galloway to Mull of Kintyre, including the Firth of Clyde & North Channel  
•    Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchan Point;

•    The Minch

•    Ardnamurchan Point to Cape Wrath

NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) is an international automated medium frequency direct-printing service for delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent marine safety information to ships. It was developed to provide a low-cost, simple, and automated means of receiving this information aboard ships at sea within approximately 370 km (200 nautical miles) of shore.