Your VHF radio should be your go-to communications in an emergency. The U.S. Coast Guard has a huge network of towers to listen in on distress calls and when you make a call, every other nearby boater with a radio on can also hear you, which increases your chance of getting help.
Why is VHF the best call for help?
While you can obtain search and rescue assistance from the nearest Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) centre by dialling *16 or #16 on a cell phone, a cell phone is not a good substitute for a marine radio–a maritime VHF radio is the best way of sending a distress alert because it …
How are VHF radios used in emergency?
Using a VHF Radio in an Emergency
If lives are in danger transmit “Mayday Mayday Mayday” and your vessel name. Wait for the Coast Guard to respond and be ready to reply with your location, ideally with latitude and longitude from GPS. If your situation is bad but not life-threatening, use the call “pan-pan.”
Can you use VHF radio on land?
Marine VHF radios, whether fixed or handheld, may not be used on land, period. It’s the law. Once a VHF radio goes ashore, it cannot be used for marine band transmission (without a Coast Station License).
How far does VHF transmit?
Your VHF radio is intended mainly for short range communications, generally 5-10 miles, and at least 20 miles to a USCG station. To communicate at longer ranges, you will normally need a satellite telephone or an MF/HF marine radiotelephone.
What VHF channel should I use for a radio check?
The proper way to undertake a radio check is to contact the coastguard on the appropriate channel. In the Solent area Channel 67 is used.
What do you need to legally use a VHF marine radio?
In order to use a VHF marine radio you must obtain a Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime) – ROC (M).
Do I have to have a radio on my boat?
The short answer is, yes, you most definitely need a VHF radio or 2-way radio particularly if you boat any significant distance from the shore.
What marine radio channel should I use?
Federal Communications Commission regulations require boaters having VHF radios to maintain a watch on either channel 9 or channel 16, whenever the radio is turned on and not communicating with another station. All non-emergency traffic should be communicated on another channel (not channels 9 or 16).
What must you do when a distress call is received on your VHF radio?
What to Do If You Hear a MAYDAY Call. All DSC radios receiving a distress call immediately sound a distinctive alarm, and automatically switch to Channel 16 for voice communication. Write down the message, the name of the boat in distress, its position and the reason for the call. Don’t trust your memory.
How do I know if my VHF radio is working?
You are encouraged to check your VHF radio by calling the station in your area. When you transmit on its channel, you will hear a recorded response and then hear a playback of your voice verifying that your radio is transmitting, modulating and receiving.
How long does a VHF Licence last?
How long does a VHF licence last? Forever.. ship radio licences last a lifetime, but must be revalidated every 10 years.