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Chapter 20
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Radio Telephony

  All yachts are fitted with VHF radios capable of simplex two way communication.  All members of the crew must be able to use the radio telephone in an emergency and to this end a plaque, giving step by step instructions for sending a distress message, including the MMSI number, should be mounted near the set.

  The most important details of operation should be known by the skipper, even though he may not be qualified as an operator; these are listed and described below:

  The vessel requires a ship's licence.

  Transmissions must be controlled by the holder of a Short Range Certificate. (VHF only).

  The set must have:

    Digital Selective Calling (DSC)

    Channel 16 Distress, Safety and Calling Frequency.

    Channel 6 Primary Inter-ship Channel.

    One other Channel.

  A listening watch should be maintained on Channel 16, at all times, when at sea.

  No one may operate the Radio Telephone without the authority of the skipper.

  Except in an emergency, no one may operate the Radio Telephone unless under the control of a licensed operator.

  The following only may take place on Channel 16:

    Distress Working.

    Urgency Traffic.

    Initial contact with another station.

  The definitions of Distress and Urgency are:

    Distress: A vessel or a life is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requests immediate assistance.

    Urgency: The station sending has a very urgent message to transmit concerning the safety of a vessel or the safety of a person.

  To make a distress call:

  Check the set is switched on and high power is selected, ensure Channel 16 is selected. Press and hold the red DSC button for five seconds to send an undesignated distress call. Follow immediately with voice message. Hold microphone a short distance from mouth, press press-to-talk switch and say:

MAYDAY    MAYDAY  MAYDAY

THIS IS (Yacht's name) THIS IS (Yacht's name) THIS IS (Yacht's name)

MY MMSI NUMBER IS (Nine digit number)

MAYDAY ...................................... (Yacht's name)

MY POSITION IS ....................(Bearing and distance FROM a prominent object or Lat and Long)

..................................... (Nature of distress)

...........................(Any other relevant information)

I REQUIRE IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE

OVER.

RELEASE PRESS-TO-TALK SWITCH.

  Repeat and continue to repeat (leaving time (approx. 30 seconds) between transmissions to hear any answer) as necessary.

The obligation to accept distress calls is absolute.

  To make an urgency call: prepare the equipment as for distress calls. Say:

PAN-PAN  PAN-PAN  PAN-PAN

HELLO ALL STATIONS   ALL STATIONS  ALL STATIONS

THIS IS (Yacht's name) THIS IS (Yacht's name) THIS IS (Yacht's name)

MY MMSI is ........................(Nine digit number)

MY POSITION IS...................(Bearing and distance FROM a prominent object or Lat and Long)

 ....................................... (Nature of urgency)

........................... (Any other relevant information)

OVER.

RELEASE PRESS-TO-TALK SWITCH.

  Examinations for the Short Range Certificate (VHF/DSC only) are held regularly by the KTC, details can be obtained from the Courses Clerk.

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