Using a Marine VHF radio.
If you own or use a Marine VHF Radio make sure you know the procedures for radio use.
National and international systems exist to provide prompt and effective search and rescue assistance to ships in distress. By complying with the correct radio protocols and procedures, ship station operators can ensure that these systems continue to work effectively for the benefit of all users.
Calling a coast station or ship station on channel 16
Keep it clear - call and switch. Call on channel 16, then switch to an appropriate working channel that will keep channel 16 clear for someone else to use.
Alternatively, before you leave the wharf, arrange a sked on an appropriate working channel. When calling and working with other vessels—use channels 72, 73 or 77. When calling and working with a coast station - use channel 73.
Marine VHF radio operators handbook
The Australian Maritime College produces a handbook that provides all the information needed to operate your VHF radio correctly. As part of the Australian Communications and Media Authority's Marine VHF Radio Information Program, the Marine VHF Radio Operators Handbook has been made available for free download. This offer has been extended and will now conclude on 30/06/2012. Click here to take advantage of this offer and download a copy of the handbook for free now from the Australian Martime College.
Hard copies can be purchased from The Australian Maritime College.
For more information visit www.acma.gov.au/vhfmarine
Sticker and postcard
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has also produced stickers VHF marine radio channels sticker reminding boaters of the purpose of each VHF channel and VHF marine radio postcards which reinforce the importance of calling on Channel 16 and then switching to a working channel. The information card also reminds boaters to always listen on Channel 16 when not using the radio.
More information about VHF Marine radio, including links to other organisations such as the Bureau of Meteorology visit the ACMA website www.acma.gov.au/vhfmarine