Originally Posted by SeanKent
I agree, how much training do you need to push a button and shout help !
Well assuming you actually are in distress shouting "Help" isn't the best advice. Whilst Kaman is correct that the CG will do their best to extract the info they need even if your broadcast is not standard format - in a life threatening emergency a few minutes whilst they get to the right details might be too late. The CG may not be the people who respond (for reasons Kaman should have learned on his course but seems to have forgotten). If I am only a mile away when you make your call but it is incoherent or ineffective you may have to wait a long time for 'official help'.
Nobody on my course was stupid - but certainly not everyone was effective at "pushing a button and shouting help" the first time they did it in a classroom and having just seen what to do. Drifting towards the waves breaking on the cliffs whilst trying to pull your mate back on board is not the time to discover you don't know what the squelch setting does...
For most people it will cost about the same as weekend worth of fuel. The advice about needing VHF certs for the powerboat courses is misleading - only the higher level courses recommend/require it. The PB2 course which is what you would need does not.
I would suggest you get more than one opinion on the value of courses (and providers) before jumping to conclusions - even if those conclusions are the ones you want to hear! In addition to here you could ask the RNLI sea safety advisor, call up your local CG station (they don't enforce radio law).