May 2013 – Marine Radio Course


To compliment my boat handling and navigation courses I decided that it would be useful to understand the basics of marine radio communications. Joining the recent course run by the Arun Yacht Club I was joined by a mixture of fishermen with 30 years sailing experience and new captains of leisure boats. An interesting group, with me as the only diver…..seems fisherman think we ruin their fishing!!! This gave me a good chance to put them right on a few points!

The course was a mixture of theory, practical sessions, lots of kit, loose wires and ended with an examination. Whilst unexpected, the day was very enjoyable and covered areas as diverse as sending distress calls, use of Digital Selective Calling, radio coverage, use of EPIRBs, Navtex and other technologies. We even had a go at sending Mayday, Pan Pan and Securite calls over low powered radios within the classroom.

So now I know to use Pan Pan for a large navigational buoy adrift in a strong tidal stream,  to send both a DSC Urgency alert and Mayday Relay voice message if I witness a light plane crashing into the sea near the rib and what the Coastguard mean when they say ‘ Seelonce Feenee.

Definitely worth the effort…. I am now off to find out the MMSI number for Banstead Divers radio!

Alan Kennedy

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