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Old 28 August 2014, 06:41   #41
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I get fed up with some of the ridiculous point scoring that goes on here, we should be encouraging people to go out and get proper training.

The majority of pleasure craft users, including myself, never use their VHF and it is only there if they get into trouble, you're basically saying that all these people don't need to bother about getting a ships license or an operator licence. Many people out there will be able to figure out how to turn it on and press the button to talk but there are many more who wouldn't have a clue. The licensing is there for a reason, most of my course was about what to do in an emergency but you're saying don't bother about it, just go figure if shit happens, crazy.
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Old 28 August 2014, 07:25   #42
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I wonder if you keep your DSC switched off how long it takes to do a cold start and get a sat fix. I assume it will let you send a distress whilst waiting but does the position update once it gets a fix (if I remember correctly the repeat messages stop when the shore station acknowledges?).
SH HX851 DSC Handheld approx 1 min cold start for GPS fix, 40 seconds for warm start.

S
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Old 28 August 2014, 07:46   #43
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Quote:
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...you're basically saying that all these people don't need to bother about getting a ships license or an operator licence.....

....but you're saying don't bother about it,....
No thomas, you're saying that we're saying that. My wife pulls that kind of stunt: "but what you're really saying/mean is..."

My advice is to a bloke who appears to want a cheapo handheld for immediate safety at sea. Sure he should do a course but if he's going to sea tomorrow, then he'd be better with a handheld than a booking for VHF training next month - IMO

If you want to extrapolate that into my condoning the VERY WIDESPREAD routine use of fixed and handheld VHFs in the UK and Ireland by unlicensed users, then carry on - but I'm happy I didn't say that. I'm gonna give myself a point for that and yield the floor to you for the last word...
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Old 28 August 2014, 07:57   #44
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The majority of pleasure craft users, including myself, never use their VHF and it is only there if they get into trouble, you're basically saying that all these people don't need to bother about getting a ships license or an operator licence.
No the "ship's" license is a legal requirement (free of charge), but as the Ofcom document I linked to earlier makes clear OFCOM are saying it is not essential to have a certificate of competence to listen, or make emergency calls.
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Old 28 August 2014, 08:07   #45
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I'm going to put my hand up and admit that I haven't done the course and own a cheap Cobra handheld.
We go as a family to the West coast of Scotland each year for two weeks. I clip the radio to the dashboard of my 17' hardboat EVERY time we go out as another layer of safety along with my in date coastal flare pack, lifejackets, phone,anchor,oars, bilge pump. drogue etc etc.
I even turn it on SOMETIMES when we're fishing to LISTEN. I know the basics of radio protocol but hope I'll never need to use. I don't class myself as a hardcore offshore boater and we're very rarely more than a mile offshore but it's another thing that MAY save yours or somebody elses life if it works just like my lifejackets, flares etc.

I do have a license.
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Old 28 August 2014, 11:40   #46
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Both the OP and Peter_C are SIBbers and accordingly more likely to be h/held only. Hence, I assume, the suggestion to go DSC for the h/held.
I bought a handheld before they came with GPS and DSC, way back when I was kayak diving. Now I carry a Nautilus Lifeline with DSC while diving and boating on my person. It is only turned on to test it once in a while, and routinely charged.

My boat has an electronics tower with a fixed Icom VHF tied into my Garmin Chartplotter. Even before when I only had a handheld it was pointless to have it on as I could never hear it. My 2 stroke is loud and drones out even my fixed radio with two speakers. So in the past when I had a handheld I rarely if ever turned it on. Mostly it gets used to check the weather forecast.

The question of is your handheld on or off is only asked for those without a fixed VHF.

I will always stand by getting a VHF with DSC. When immersed in cold water, every minute counts.
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Old 28 August 2014, 11:54   #47
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"Mayday help, I've lost my divers", that's what I heard broadcast on ch16 one day,
I was heading offshore with 12 pax aboard, already 4 mile out,
but as an Aux LB with ch zero we would always help whilst in range, so after turning about and returning to neutral,
I awaited the response from the local Coast Guard to get more detail, most important being position and divers drop time,
The CG responded very calmly to the frightened inexperienced Mayday caller asking position at first and exact number of divers,
the caller replies his approx position and he's lost two divers, that was all the info I needed to hit full chat in that direction,
there's three scenarios I'm thinking, there either pinned to rocks with strong current or trapped in old fishing net or,
hopefully! just carried down the Coast with the strong current. I decided scenario 3 was best to follow;
So after calculating how far they would drift in the given drop time, I refined our heading 1.5 miles South of drop zone,
as usual we heard the Sea King announce they where ready for take orf, and they were only 10 mile away at the time,
with RAF Brawdy on the door step, by this time I'm half way to my predicted drift zone,
then five min later we located the divers, alerted the CG and launched our small life-raft for support until matey in the rib turned up.
He said he lost sight of the divers marker buoys in the overfalls and couldn't find them after searching 15 min, so nervously made the call for help.
without that radio I'm sure the outcome would have been uncertain. the correct radio protocol would speed responce of course,
but we all got the message, so no lives were lost, so yes, having a VHF on board at all times is a must and could save your life one day.
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Old 28 August 2014, 12:27   #48
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So I think we've sorted all that out then...

...except i'm not actually sure the OP said he had no training did he? That was some other random who chipped in with the what is DSC question!!
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Old 28 August 2014, 12:40   #49
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"Mayday help, I've lost my divers", that's what I heard broadcast on ch16 one day,~

~but we all got the message, so no lives were lost, so yes, having a VHF on board at all times is a must and could save your life one day.
And if the divers would have been carrying a Nautilus Lifeline VHF, they would have called their own boat on channel XX and been pickup without incident 15 minutes earlier.
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Old 28 August 2014, 12:45   #50
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All we hear is Radio ga ga, Radio goo goo.
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