How To: Use marine VHF radio

Use marine VHF radio

How to Use marine VHF radio

Radio communication is one of the oldest and most effective means of communication via technology, so it's no wonder it's still a popular way to send and receiver signals, especially on the water. Having a Marine radio can be critical when operating a boat on any type of water. There are many uses for a Marine radio, but the most important is to send a distress signal — here's how to do it.

Step 1: Call distress signal
Tune your marine radio to channel 16 and call out the word "mayday" three times in a row. This is the international hailing and distress frequency.

Collect as much information as you can about your vessel, your condition, and your location before making a distress call.

Step 2: Name your vessel
Call out the name of your vessel by saying "This is" and then repeating the name of your vessel three times in a row.

Step 3: Repeat mayday and name
Repeat "mayday" and the name of the vessel once more.

Step 4: Give position
Give the position of your vessel finding your latitude and longitude on a nautical chart, and approximate distance to a known landmark or island.

Step 5: Describe your condition
Describe the nature of your distress by saying something like, "struck a submerged object," "taking on water," or "fire on board."

Step 6: Describe what you need
Describe any specific assistance you might need, like medical attention for someone on board, or pumps needed to remove water.

Step 7: Describe number of people on board
Describe how many people are on board, their age if pertinent, and their condition.

Step 8: Give other information
Give any other pieces of information that may further assist the rescuer. Then end the call with the word "over."

Step 9: Switch channels
Switch to a mutually decided on, free channel once you have established contact with a rescuer. Simply call out a switch to a numbered channel and then tune to that channel to continue communicating with the rescuer.

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