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Safety Advice – Global Positioning System (GPS)

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Following concerns expressed by the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading is making owners/operators of commercial and recreational craft that use the Global Positioning System (GPS) aware of a potential problem.

The MCA has issued a safety bulletin for operators using GPS for both position and Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).

The GPS weeks counter allows for a maximum of 1024 weeks before resetting to zero. This last occurred in 1999. It will be occurring again on 6 April 2019 introducing a risk that stand-alone GPS receivers and systems using GPS chips may generate errors in both position and time.

The products most likely to be affected are those that are more than 10 years old and/or have not had firmware regularly updated.

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