World Amateur Radio Day – today – 18 April 2013
As reported on the VK1WIA broadcasts, each year World Amateur Radio Day is celebrated under a theme. Today, it’s: Amateur Radio: Entering Its Second Century of Disaster Communications. The theme for 2013 was chosen by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to commemorate the first known use of Amateur Radio in a disaster situation.
Roger Harrison - VK2ZRH
A 15-year old student, Herbert V. Akerberg, from Ohio USA, is believed to be the first person to use amateur radio to call for help during a disaster. In March 1913, the Scioto River in Ohio flooded its banks, killing more than 100 people. The flood destroyed bridges and swept away telephone and telegraph lines. The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported that Akerberg used his home radio transmitter to send SOS calls via Morse code. For about three days and nights he manned his rig, sending out many messages as the area was isolated and damaged.
The ARRL reports that his efforts were “highly commended by the city authorities and his achievement widely heralded over the country as a new contribution to the comparatively new science of radio.” Herbert Akerberg passed away in Scottsdale, Arizona on November 6, 1964.
A number of special event stations are on the air today to mark the occasion:
4A8DMR, Mexico, will be operating over 18-21 April on all bands 160m to 6m, including EME and satellites. QSL via N7RO and LoTW.
CR5IARU, Portugal, mounted by REP, Portugal’s IARU Member Society. It opened on 13 April and will be continuing to 19 April on “all bands”. QSL via CT1REP (bureau or direct).
KP4FD, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Field Day Group is on-air today from the Emergency Management Agency of the city of Cataño, Puerto Rico. QSL via LoTW.
ZL2WARD, New Zealand. The Wellington VHF Group is on-air today on The National System and possibly on other bands. The National System is a network of linked 70 cm repeaters, which operate to provide a single voice channel that covers much of New Zealand. Details online here: www.vhf.org.nz.
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