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Old 10 June 2013, 10:15   #61
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I always do a radio check every day I am out boating. I try to use the marina or harbour I am leaving for a radio check, and always ask if my transmission is "clear and readable", but if that's not possible the coastguard gets my call on ch16 (or ch67 in the solent). To be honest it's quite rare that I cannot use a marina, harbour master or other vessel for my radio check so the coastguard rarely gets the call.

I need to know that the ships radio (and my handheld) are transmitting clearly just in case of emergency. Everyone should be encouraged to regularly check their VHF's are transmitting clearly.

I have never received a complaint from anyone (coastguard included) about me asking them for a radio check. If you do call Solent CG on ch16 in the busy summer season for a radio check they will firmly but politely say "in future use ch67 for routine traffic".
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Old 10 June 2013, 11:19   #62
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Don't get me wrong am very grateful that the CG is there, but what I am detecting from the las part of your your post is ' i'm kinda official and we don't want it to happen!' Are you saying the Coastguard don't want to hear Radiochecks, cos they are going to be hearing mine on 67 until it becomes Illegal. and fkk em if they don't like it as I'd rather they were inconvenienced than I was 20 miles out, in trouble, and my radio only worked for a short range.
No thats not what they're saying. They are quite happy to carry out radio checks. However Solent CG are requesting that they are carried out on 67 in the Solent CG area to reduce the work load on 16 and to give urgent calls a priority.

Solent CG receive 40% of the UK's VHF radio traffic and therefore even with 20 staff on duty would struggle to cope on a Bank Holiday in August with only one channel. All they are asking is for radio checks to be carried out on 67 and leave 16 for distress and calling. Alternatively as mentioned use another station nearby i.e. QHM, VTS or a marina.

Calling other stations is good practice and builds on radio experience which builds confidence in radio usage.
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Old 10 June 2013, 11:21   #63
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I think its fair to say Solent CG don't object to a radio check - they just ask for them to be done with some common sense. Ch67 as routine and without over speaking any other more 'important' calls - and if calling then say in the inital transmission its a check your after - otherwise you get the ' if routine call on 67 reply'.

ie .Solent CG x3 this is blah blah blah for a radio check please over ......

they reply ( assuming they hear you )

you reply ( assuming you hear them ! ) - Solent CG , rib Blah...thankyou have a good day. OUT
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Old 10 June 2013, 12:25   #64
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No thats not what they're saying. They are quite happy to carry out radio checks. However Solent CG are requesting that they are carried out on 67 in the Solent CG area to reduce the work load on 16 and to give urgent calls a priority.
The other thing they requested was that people listen first and make sure that they're not requesting a radio check in the middle of something more urgent.
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Old 10 June 2013, 12:40   #65
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I finished that course pretty sure of the process for radio checks but now it's as clear as mud if Solent isn't the nearest CG, mine would be London or Dover.

The instructor was from Portsmouth so that would explain his interpretation as the Solent is his local area, but surely there should be a consistent approach whoever is teaching the course. His opinion is if it's not urgent keep 16 clear, which seemed logical.
Gennaro - unfortunately VHF instructors are variable in quality, and one who is local to the solent may well forget there is a world beyond. Certainly in my course in Scotland it was clear. Normal process was call on 16, but solent was 67 unless urgent.

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Don't get me wrong am very grateful that the CG is there, but what I am detecting from the las part of your your post is ' i'm kinda official and we don't want it to happen!' Are you saying the Coastguard don't want to hear Radiochecks, cos they are going to be hearing mine on 67 until it becomes Illegal. and fkk em if they don't like it as I'd rather they were inconvenienced than I was 20 miles out, in trouble, and my radio only worked for a short range.
Stu - take a chill pill - I think its quite clear that PolarBear is not speaking officially for the MCA:

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Say hello from me - I worked there as a deputy watch manager and SMC a couple of years ago...
What would probably be more constructive is if people called in their "passage plan" rather than just radio check?
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Old 10 June 2013, 19:05   #66
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Stu - take a chill pill - I think its quite clear that PolarBear is not speaking officially for the MCA:

No chill pill needed, I was seeking confirmation from polar bear. I obviously realise that polar bear was speaking unofficially but I'm not sure those ever so easily led 10 newbies did.

Nobody is ever going to dissuade me as a ribber from making a CG radio check as it's part of my safety routine and I do hope its a good influence on the newbs

if I'm driving a Tug or workboat I don't bother as I have already spoken by radio to the VTS to get permission to leave /enter port .

I hold the Coastguard in the highest regard for what it's worth

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Originally Posted by Poly;544654.


What would probably be more constructive is if people called in their "passage plan" rather than just radio check?

Good idea wish I was bright enough to think of that what do you think of the YOPS idea ?
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Old 10 June 2013, 19:53   #67
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Good idea wish I was bright enough to think of that what do you think of the YOPS idea ?
Is that what they call YTS these days?

My answer would probably get political, but it could work, though I'm guessing if they had time to show those reprobates round on a sunny weekend its not quite breaking point!
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Old 10 June 2013, 20:15   #68
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You lot know the score...

. HMCG welcome radio checks for many reasons. Not least of which is an officers ability to plan a search based on one radio check if he has to.

. Radio checks are unnecessary on Ch16 if working frequencies are monitored. Furthermore, excessive traffic on Ch16 is a serious hazard to us all, hence the importance to properly police this frequency IF required.

. Radio check results (signal strength and readability) should be thoughtfully assessed by the requesting station. A response is not absolute success. Which radio site was I received on, and how might my result change as I proceed 20 miles off?

. My official voice has not been used since the MCA stopped paying my mortgage nearly 3 years ago, but alas, the song remains the same, its just harder to sing right in txt spk... Sorry if I made my comments ambiguous...

. On the subject of passage plans - if you are filing one, then yep - you are likely to get a free radio check during that exchange. Just dont forget - the CG does not monitor ETAs - your shore contact must raise the alarm if you become overdue!!

Matt.
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Old 11 June 2013, 02:27   #69
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Call me old fashioned but I really thought it would be better that 10 newbies were encouraged to play safely than not bother doing Coast Guard radio checks.
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Originally Posted by Rogue Wave
No chill pill needed, I was seeking confirmation from polar bear. I obviously realise that polar bear was speaking unofficially but I'm not sure those ever so easily led 10 newbies did.
I let it go the first time but perhaps you could clarify who are the 10 newbies you are talking about ?
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Old 11 June 2013, 04:01   #70
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I let it go the first time but perhaps you could clarify who are the 10 newbies you are talking about ?

I haven't got a Scooby doo who they but they are the ones mentioned in PolarBear's post. this his actual post and it's him that mentioned them I was reacting to what I saw as a criticism of good practice by an ex official of the Coast Guard. I have emboldened the relevant passages that caused me most concern, although to be honest nothing in the post really turned me on I much prefer the message in his later reply



Oh and by the way - all MRCCs monitor 67 and use it as the primary working frequency. Solent is unique in that there is an extreme concentration of pleasure craft users and "sunday boaters"... My years at Humber, we did very few radio checks. Commercial vessels, fishing vessels and the offshore industry don't do radio checks with the coastguard, but they are hugely popular in the solent. I believe it is self perpetuating. There are lots of beginner boaters on the water in the solent, and I suppose they hear others doing radio checks with solent, and assume they should do the same themselves. I never minded issuing radio checks tbh, as for the most part they are simple to respond to, and it is good that people have the confidence to call up - but perhaps it is worth remembering the alternatives, and ask yourself why you are calling. One call from you might encourage 10 newbies to do the same... For some reason nobody ever calls southampton VTS for a radio check
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