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Old 06 May 2013, 04:06   #11
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You can also use channel 67 for non emergency checks with Coastguard on The Solent
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Old 06 May 2013, 04:12   #12
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Was in Solent yesterday and HMC made the point of advising all radio checks to be made on Ch 67

Agree daft not to radio check
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Old 06 May 2013, 04:45   #13
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You can also use channel 67 for non emergency checks with Coastguard on The Solent
Thank you Ian, you beat me to it..

Routine traffic in the Solent area is to be made on 67

I agree with the OP though, i have heard people time and time again call up Solent CG for a radio check (on 16) whilst they are working an incident...very frustrating

My logic is that if i'm not receiving much on the VHF then there is probably an issue with my set. If however i'm picking up traffic from 15 miles away then unless i suspect the hand mic is damaged, i tend to trust that all is working OK. I always carry a portable anyway as a backup.

Simon
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Old 06 May 2013, 04:56   #14
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When appropriate, do use the DSC test call facility (if you have it) as another good check, esp in relation to the Red Button. Seemingly, up here it's helpful to the CG too, as from chatting to them not many people use DSC, so it's a good check at their end too.

I must admit I like the reassurance from giving a DSC initiated passage plan, as that in itself is a good radio check. BUT, there's much less radio traffic up here.

Cheers

Steve
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Old 06 May 2013, 05:02   #15
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only Solent has the advantage of direct calling on a working channel.
Recommendation is that you get a radio check from another vessel but in the real world how likely is that to happen esp if you are "billy no mates", and it is "billy" who is probably likely to get into trouble so it would be good for him to have actually have talked to a coastguard in a non panic situation.
Using your hand held??? how is that gonna help for a worthwhile check?
In the real world a lot depends on the day and location. There are days when the CG is run off its feet and it would be impolite to say the least to bother them. On the other hand there are many, many days and times, esp away from the south coast (yes there are boats in places other than the Solent), when they are very quiet. I will then use the CG for a good worthwhile radio check if I feel I need one. I pay m'tax so I'll have m'money's worth thanks.
The only disadvantage for me was that as a member of the local coastguard rescue team for 30years, and a "CG Afloat" when that scheme was running many years ago, a radio check did result on various occasions of "ah Dave while you're on can you just go and look at .........." and on one occasion the MRSC called us by voice to ask if they could check their dsc with us as they had doubts about a particular aerial site, "we've already got your mmsi off the database bud!"
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Old 06 May 2013, 05:04   #16
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In a 1 hour period, there must have been 5 or 6 requests to the Coastguard for a radio check.
I believe that is not uncommon on the south coast and if they politely answer them then they will continue to get the same. If they don't want them they should say so.

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The Mayday call was stupid and the sailing club should be fined for having ill trained and unsupervised monkees on the Radio and the boat for that matter.
I think that's a bit harsh the advice here is always to call them early, never to worry about "overstating" a Mayday and let them do exactly what they did and downgrade it. Yes the club should have people who have been properly trained on their boats including the procedure to follow in the even of a breakdown. Sadly, its not uncommon for Sailing Club Rescue boats to be manned by relatively inexperienced well meaning people - who perhaps did a PB2 5 yrs ago and go out one day a year. Not all PB instructors are created equal and thus some will have spend less time on the steps to take on the engine conking out than others.

Personally I'd much rather they over reacted and got some quick advice on anchoring than washed up on shore or in the path of a ship whilst the kiddies were in trouble. If there were lots of inexperienced youngsters I would have hoped the club at least had a 'back up plan' in place - but I can see the cause for concern (although I wouldn't have called MayDay myself) - and how if its the first time you've ever been on a boat with a dead engine and you are supposed to be 'looking after' X dinghies that you follow the MayDay procedure and read the words printed above the radio...

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As you can imagine the Coastguard was not best impressed, downgraded the call and despatched a boat out and sent someone to talk to the club regarding operational procedures.
They said that on the open radio? I've never heard them be anything but professional even when dealing with spectacular stupidity. Perhaps that conversation took place "internally" on Ch0? You do realise that all VHF transmissions are supposed to be treated as confidential. Its a fear of "mocking" from others listening in which puts people off calling for help until it is too late.

I hope the Coasties who visited were a little more tactful and diplomatic than you suggest otherwise the club will probably issue a dictat that no one is allowed to call the CG without first asking the commodore's permission!
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Old 06 May 2013, 05:21   #17
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Anyone still stick to the old silent minuites code nowadays on vhf , where everyone maintains a total radio silence on the hour & every quarter for 3 mins or so so that any weak maydays or the like can get through & be heard ,

When we had a local -local coastguard station they would often welcome a radio check unless they were busy as it would give an indication that their own radio was working correctly ,
Mind I am going back a few years .

problem with doing a general radio check is that unless the receiving station is polite you can get the( F,,, em )syndrome as I have heard many times especially in certain harbours of marinas .
(Some polite yachtie asks for a check & everyone that hears him just ignores .)
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Old 06 May 2013, 06:32   #18
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Whilst performing some routine maintenance on Hayling Rescues RIB this morning, I was listening to various VHF channels that Frank monitors {He has 3 sets scanning different frequencies). In a 1 hour period, there must have been 5 or 6 requests to the Coastguard for a radio check and then a Mayday from a SSC Rib whose engine had cut out. The Coastguard went through the usual procedures before discovering that it was a sailing club rescue boat who had broken down. they apparently hadn't considered anchoring, simply sent a Mayday. As you can imagine the Coastguard was not best impressed, downgraded the call and despatched a boat out and sent someone to talk to the club regarding operational procedures.
Assuming the rescue boat wasn't in any shiping lane or drifting onto rocks, then I agree m day was uncalled for, its amazing how some forget how important the anchore is.
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Old 06 May 2013, 06:37   #19
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Anyone still stick to the old silent minuites code nowadays on vhf , where everyone maintains a total radio silence on the hour & every quarter for 3 mins or so so that any weak maydays or the like can get through & be heard ,



This was for MF sets on the 2182khz and 500khz frequency's...

Used to be commercial shipping would listen out but GMDSS has killed all that now.

The clocks with the sectors marked on them are still quite sought after though.....although i susspect many will not understand what the sectors represent.

Simon
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Old 06 May 2013, 06:38   #20
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It wouldn't be terribly unusual for a small RIB to simply not have an anchor and 20m of warp. So no engine and no anchor and a blowing into a shipping channel suddenly changes your situation...

You're still a plank though
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