ACMA Marine Radio e-bulletin 22/7/13
The Sounds of Silence
We often get asked if silence periods still apply to the use of marine radios. The international regulations no longer require silence periods to be observed on the distress and calling frequencies. Those vessels that come under the Safety of Life at Sea regulations maintain a continuous watch on VHF DSC and a listening watch on Channel 16.
It is still recommended that vessels operating on the MF/HF frequencies observe silence periods, so that operators experiencing communications difficulties on these frequencies can be heard. If you do wish to observe silence periods, they start on the hour and half-hour and last for three minutes.
Whether or not you observe silence periods, it's important to remain tuned in to the distress channels on your marine radio. And remember—when making a radio call, always listen first. That way, you won't interfere with anyone else who may be transmitting.
For more information from this edition of the e-bulletin, click HERE.