USCG Alert Issued Regarding LED Lighting

August 15, 2018 Safety Alert 13-18

Washington, DC

Let us enlighten you about LED lighting!

Potential interference of VHF-FM Radio and AIS Reception.

The U.S. Coast Guard has received reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF frequencies used for radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC) and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of light emitting diode (LED) lighting on-board ships (e.g., navigation lights, searchlights and floodlights, interior and exterior lights, adornment).

Radio frequency interference caused by these LED lamps were found to create potential safety hazards. For example, the maritime rescue coordination center in one port was unable to contact a ship involved in a traffic separation scheme incident by VHF radio. That ship also experienced very poor AIS reception. Other ships in different ports have experienced degradation of the VHF receivers, including AIS, caused by their LED navigation lights. LED lighting installed near VHF antennas has also shown to compound the reception.

Strong radio interference from LED sources may not be immediately evident to maritime radio users. Nonetheless, it may be possible to test for the presence of LED interference by using the following procedures:

1. Turn off LED light(s).
2. Tune the VHF radio to a quiet channel (e.g. Ch. 13).
3. Adjust the VHF radio’s squelch control until the radio outputs audio noise.
4. Re-adjust the VHF radio’s squelch control until the audio noise is quiet, only slightly above the noise threshold.

Safety Alert 13-18

5. Turn on the LED light(s).

If the radio now outputs audio noise, then the LED lights have raised the noise floor. (Noise floor is generally the amount of interfering signals / static received beyond the specific signal or channel being monitored.)

6. If the radio does not output audio noise, then the LED lights have not raised the noise floor.

If the noise floor is found to have been raised, then it is likely that both shipboard VHF marine radio and AIS reception are being degraded by LED lighting.

In order to determine the full impact of this interference, the Coast Guard requests those experiencing this problem to report their experiences to Coast Guard Navigation Center1. Select “Maritime Telecommunications” on the subject drop down list, then briefly describe the make and model of LED lighting and radios effected, distance from lighting to antennas and radios effected, and any other information that may help understand the scope of the problem.

This Safety Alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational, or material requirement. Developed by the U.S. Coast Guard, Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Policy Division.

Distributed by the Office of Investigations and Analysis.

Questions may be sent to

A Moment for Safety


When you have accomplished your mission you know you are paying attention to risk!

Do not be afraid to fail, that is what training is about. Its actually required unless you already know the content.

But for the first time learner an effective instructor will translate to the student the best measures to approach the problem with credible solutions.

The mission is delivered when there are no mishaps, the operations are based on technical boating, proper PPE is assigned, and training is documented along with the program needs. If this is not taking place, stop and restart the program before a mishap occurs.

Successful mission outcomes are great, but it comes with a heft investment of time, personnel and funding.

Updates cannot happen within an agency, they must come from those who are in the field and discovering content, creating content, testing the content, measuring the content and delivering the content. This is what qualified instructors bring to an agency versus a 'train the trainer' format that weakens the foundation strength.

It's been proven that intellectual knowledge is delivered from subject matter experts. Most training programs do not maintain or reach their potential due to downsizing the curriculum to save time. Those agencies should not have a Rescue Water Craft marine unit. Maintaining a boat unit is an expansive responsibility.

Oftentimes agencies treat the Rescue Water Craft program as a rescue asset instead of a boat asset. The two are in conflict with on another. Boating must come first, rescue is the final application.

Students must want to learn and content must be updated annually for this to happen.

How do you rank?

Your must evaluate your training program. You need a baseline measure to compare the success from failure.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you have the proper fitted and sized PPE?
2. Do you evaluate physical fitness levels and how often?
3. Are your checklists signed off by the individual who tasks the assignment?
4. Are your RWC's pulled out of service when there is questionable operational behaviors?
5. Are your rescue boards inspected?
6. Trailer inspection list, how often?
7. Weather and water conditions listed in training logs?
8. Individual training logs and results maintained.
9. Equipment is retired according to use and wear and manufacturer recommendations.
10. Is your team certification current and valid for 3 years?
11. Do you review your curriculum annually?
12. Has each team member read the manufacturers Owners Manual?
13. Does each team member hold a current valid Boat operators license or permit?
14. Do your team members know how to swim in the water you train in?

1 to 4 - AT RISK


9 to 12 - SECURE

Rescue Board Training and Inspection


Any of the questions above that were not checked are the ones you need to focus on.

You can revise your program internally or hire a subject matter consultant. We can help you with that.

We have created hundreds of solutions for clients who knew their program was at risk. It's easy to correct. Don't let your program suffer or open up bigger problems down the line. Consider making your own program evaluation and presenting it to your
administration for review. Then tackle those concerns head on.

It's better to effect change before problems occur rather than when a mishap occurs. They can be costly in resource loss, out of service and injury recovery time due to loss of work for individuals.

Thank you for taking the short quiz and for caring about your Marine Unit.

Remember this: A moment for safety can save a lifetime of regret.

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.


James (Jim) Farrell Segerstrom

Jim Segerstrom is considered the founding father of organized training for flood and swiftwater rescue.

He had many friends in the water rescue community. We do miss his energy, wit and driven sense of purpose.

We enjoyed working with Jim for the Rigg Challenge that was created in honor of our friend Nancy Rigg. This was an outstanding
technical rally showcasing teams, knowledge, experience and timing.

Gone But Not Forgotten


We are river people whom mother nature’s rhythms have touched quite closely and been taught by one of her most unique characteristics. A river flows dynamically through its course, its lifespan. It maneuvers around obstacles sometimes avoiding them, sometimes breaking through them, but always traveling towards its end where ever and when ever that end may be. Yet that end is not finite. It is merely the beginning of another journey as the water is evaporated into the sky and re-deposited giving life to another river as it runs a new course. This is simple science, but the metaphor goes far beyond.

I’ve been fortunate to watch Jim interact with many rivers. He was a master of reading water. Skills can take you so far, but a carnal understanding of its powers goes much deeper. Jim was a very good at knowing when an obstacle needed to be avoided and when it could be charged full-on. He was the driving force, the main instigator, behind many innovations in professional rescue education. Safety was number one important. Above and beyond his exploits as a rescue icon he was an innovative leader and catalyst for thousands of people. .

Jim changed the professional rescue community at its core He brought focus back to what it means to train hard and rescue victims safely. Few know how difficult it was to establish the Swiftwater Rescue standard around the world. It started by researching a body of knowledge that did not really exist prior to the founding of Rescue 3 in 1979, and then proceeding on a 10 year expedition around the world to develop it. We worked hard, and our laboratory was a collection of some of the most challenging rescue locations in the world. We learned through trial and error how to give an initiation and empowerment to would be rescuers who faced the terror of moving water. We learned early the importance of the "moving baptism". The critical need to drownproof rescuers by immersing them extensively in the very element they feared.

Everyone thought we were crazy, and that this was excessive and dangerous training. Jim knew the importance of transmuting rescuer fear into rescuer understanding, joy and respect for the element of moving water. There is no doubt that these efforts will continue to bear fruit with fewer rescuer deaths and improved victim outcome around the globe. Let us not forget that Jim was instrumental in planting these amazing karmic seeds. Jim packed a lot of joy for us all in that dash between Feb 1946-Feb 2007. Godspeed my friend.

Mike Crosslin

James Farrell Segerstrom

Feb. 21, 1946 — Feb. 5, 2007

James Farrell Segerstrom, a Sonora resident on and off for 58 years, died Feb. 5 at a San Francisco hospital.

He graduated from Sonora Elementary School, attended Sonora Union High School and graduated from high school at Menlo School in Menlo Park. He graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

Mr. Segerstrom was a paramedic for 10 years. He established and pioneered the Swift Water Rescue Technician program, which was created in Sonora and became the premier program of its kind world wide.

A Civil War buff, he had a large collection of toy soldiers and enjoyed studying military history. He was in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves for two years.

He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Segerstrom.

Mr. Segerstrom is survived by his wife of 25 years, Shiree of Sonora; a son, James "Christian" Segerstrom of Sonora; his mother, Mary Etta Segerstrom of Sonora; a sister, Ann Segerstrom of San Francisco; three brothers, Donald Segerstrom of Sonora, David Segerstrom of San Diego and Steven Segerstrom of Nevada City; and many cousins, nephews and nieces.



When I am called to duty God,
Whenever people fall,
Give me the strength to save one life,
whatever be the call.

Whether on foot or in flight, Oh Lord
with all of your might,
Lead me to embrace the small, lost child
or save the injured from the wild.

Out from rivers edge or overlooking this ledge,
Enable me to be alert and hear the
weakest shout
to quickly and efficiently bring
my brother out.

With my desire to serve, ability to
perform and the courage to act,
Lord, allow me to deliver my neighbor
safely back.

There are no bounds to which I'll give,
These things I do so that others may live.
And when according to your will,
My earthly tasks must end,
Lord, Please bless with your protecting hand
My family and my friends.

Segerstrom's Memorial Tribute:
Adapted and read by Jacquelyn Potts-TCSAR
February 17, 2007


2018 Rajd Wokół Polski – Płyniemy Polsko


Etapu rajdu Płyniemy Polsko z Gdynia do Darłowa.

The rally Stage 4 route was from Gdynia Poland to Darlowa on the Baltic Sea. The teams field the event in partnerships of taking care of their rally needs throughout the route. The Rally began on April 29 in Krakow and the presentation took place on the 28th in Ustron.

We had rougher waters once we turned the peninsula point leaving Gdynia and heading westward. All the Rally riders hugged the coastline. There is a shallow shelf along the coastline that drops off to very deep water. The winds can come across very strong and agitate the water.

Our Plyniemy Polsko riders are setting pretty fast paces. They have gotten in to battle weary stride.

The hands suffer the most, from friction on the handlebars holding onto the crat. This is a long journey and the craft are going through strenuous paces. We have quite a few Sea Doo BRP Spark models on this rally.

K38 Poland is operating a Yamaha WaveRunner® and we have a rescue board and a K38 chase vehicle with the trailer.

We have arrived!

Another Stage Completed

The hands suffer the most, from friction on the handlebars holding onto the crat. This is a long journey and the craft are going through strenuous paces. We have quite a few Sea Doo BRP Spark models on this rally.

K38 Poland is operating a Yamaha WaveRunner® and we have a rescue board and a K38 chase vehicle with the trailer.

The Rally started up the Vistula River and we shall continue until we make a full loop of Poland, setting history for a charity ride to raise funds for people with cerebral palsy, and autism.

Beach Rescue of Spark

Yacht Club Rybnik

We have so far enjoyed a fantastic adventure! We started out by enjoying music from Znaki Czasu and are going to have more fantastic gatherings along the way since we began at the Wloclawek stage.

The organizers of the rally is the Yacht Club Rybnik and the PGE Energia Ciepla Foundation.

Before the stop in Leba we had one PWC go down and it had to be recovered from the beach. That alone was quite an epic adventure! We were fortunate to see to the safety of this recovery that a tractor locally was able to recover the PWC! It was a long day!

Content Creator - Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.