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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

An 84-year-old US Coast Guard search-and-rescue tradition has ended with a final Morse code '73' sent by a radio operator in Marshfield, Massachusetts, Reuter reports from Boston.

No longer will the Coast Guard staff a round-the-clock Morse code radio listening post for emergency distress calls sent from ships at sea. Hi-tech computers, voice radio and emergency positioning satellite beacons have replaced radio cries for help sent by desperate mariners hunched over telegraph keys.