Regulated marine radio communication equipment includes:
- Marine VHF radios (with the new Digital Selective Calling (DSC) option on channel 70);
- Marine MF/HF – DSC radios;
- Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs);
- NAVTEX; and
They work together to form the international system known as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). Pleasure craft do not have to carry GMDSS- compatible equipment, but it is a good idea. If you have it, connect it to a Global Positioning System receiver to make sure that your exact location is automatically sent in a digital distress alert in case of an emergency. This way, rescuers will immediately know exactly where you are and will arrive sooner.
Currently, all VHF marine radio operators must have a Restricted Operator Certificate(Maritime) – ROC(M). Industry Canada has delegated the ROC(M) to the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS).
**Ensure all marine radio equipment is check and functioning properly prior to departing
VHF Radio compares to cell phone
- VHF transitions are received by all VHFs in range
- 16 on the VHF is reserved for calling and emergency only
- Cell phone only alert people on the other end of the call
- Cell phone coverage is weak in certain areas
- *16 on your cell phone can be used to communicate distress/need for It puts you through to the nearest Marine Communication & Traffic Center (CCG).
Types of emergency broadcast on a VHF radio:
Mayday – prefixes a distress message (means grave danger)
Pan Pan – prefixes an urgency message ( means you requires assistance but are not in immediate danger)
Securité – prefixes a safety message (weather warning, diving ops., buoy extinguished, etc.)
- GPS systems are great for providing your position/location but you need to have a back up system ( marine charts)