Back home now after a very informative day
We had a presentation followed by emergency and radio room tour.
We were asked to pass on what we had been told so the top things I took away were:
1, In an emergency use your red DSC button (if you have one) before making your voice call. This gives the CG a lot of info and also alerts other vessels in your area to listen into your transmission on CH16.
2, When making an emergency call on Ch16 make sure you use the correct call either panpan or mayday. This tells other vessels to stay off CH16 and also helps the CG to categorise your transmission.
3, CH16 can get busy in the high season with radio checks, they advised that there are other ways of doing a radio check such as using your handheld or another boat.
4, Make sure that your mic button is working and does not stick on and also an object can't fall on the transmission button, we were told about a husband and wife who had an argument for 40 mins about a dripping tap at home and this transmitted on CH16 jamming the channel. In the end the CG helicopter had to fly to their position to tell them! If your mic button gets stuck one of the radio operators has to listen to the call very closely incase any information comes through, the lady operator said it's like listening to white noise for as long as it takes for the transmission to stop.
5, Every call on every channel is recorded and stored for 6 months! while emergency transmissions can be kept for 6 years.
The others can probably add to this