Marine Radio (Summary)
There are three types of marine radio (radiotelephony) transceivers;
27 MHz radio
This radio is inexpensive and easy to install, making it ideal for small vessels. It has a short-range, “line-of-sight” communication range of between 5.5 and 27 nautical miles. However, of the three types of radios, this one is the most susceptible to “noise” from engines and thunderstorms.
This radio offers the highest quality signals of all the marine radios, suffering least from interference caused by weather and ignition sources. It has a communications range of between 11 and 27 nautical miles or further under favourable conditions, but does suffer blindspots behind cliffs, sanddunes and heavy vegetation. Users of VHF radios require a licence to operate the equipment.
The distress frequency on this radio is channel 16.. Some VHF radios are equipped with an Auto Seaphone facility which enables direct dialing to any subscriber. Please read your manual for instructions in how to use this facility. Newer VHF radios are fitted with Digital Selective Calling (DSC).
Why a Mobile Phone Is Not Sufficient
Marine radio is superior to a mobile phone because it broadcasts emergencies to ALL stations and can be located with detection equipment in a search and rescue situation.
Ship stations operate under the authority of the master, skipper or person responsible for the safety of the vessel. Distress calls may only be sent on the authority of the master, skipper or person responsible for the safety of the vessel.