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Old 21 October 2018, 11:46   #1
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Listening to RNLI on channel 0

My question is - is it ilegal to listen on channel 0 the RNLI and coastguard frequency ? I had a radio scanner with me while out today (cant transmit only listen) and came across a major incident unfolding on the cliffs between durlston lighthouse and dancing ledge, two life boats, one helicopter, police, a csi unit and cliff rescue personel on the cliff top. Winchman transferred from helo to lifeboat to cliff edge. Lots of police etc parked up by durlston lighthouse.

Heard reference to 'Tango 4' and a tad later heard exactly what that referred to, not a good outcome. I had yesterday been walking along the exact same path with my girlfriend.

Very sad about the outcome, haven't heard what it was about as yet.
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Old 21 October 2018, 13:42   #2
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Not illegal to listen


They normally switch to a scrambled Chanel when things get a bit serious
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Old 21 October 2018, 13:46   #3
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There is no problewm with listening on a scanner ....... the wireless telegarphy act (section 5) only prohibits you from transmitting or installing equipment that has the ability to transmit.

A deceased code varies between different services ........... the ambulance service used to use code 'purple'.
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Old 21 October 2018, 14:54   #4
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There is no problewm with listening on a scanner ....... the wireless telegarphy act (section 5) only prohibits you from transmitting or installing equipment that has the ability to transmit.

A deceased code varies between different services ........... the ambulance service used to use code 'purple'.


S48 prohibits intercepting messages which were not intended for you, It’s not clear to me if Ch0 on a scanner counts as “interception” but I’m pretty certain that sharing the content here is disclosure. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/36/section/48

We will all have learned on our VHF training that messages you overhear should not be shared publicly... Given the nature of the message in the OP, I wonder why Borris thought it was wise to share the content?
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Old 21 October 2018, 14:58   #5
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Not illegal to listen


They normally switch to a scrambled Chanel when things get a bit serious
Never heard of a scrambled vhf channel, not even had the option on the rescue craft I’ve crewed - always just used 0
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Old 21 October 2018, 15:16   #6
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Never heard of a scrambled vhf channel, not even had the option on the rescue craft I’ve crewed - always just used 0


Most Icom marine VHFs can be fitted with scramblers. We used to have them fitted to discuss diving activities between our group’s boats, that we wanted to keep ahem “discreet”
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Old 21 October 2018, 15:38   #7
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Most Icom marine VHFs can be fitted with scramblers. We used to have them fitted to discuss diving activities between our group’s boats, that we wanted to keep ahem “discreet”
I don’t doubt they exist, but like I said it wasn’t an option on the crafts i crewed on, every local south coast rescue resource used 0 as the comms channel and everything to do with the casualty / incident was discussed on it, bet 0 was busy this morning, naughty ferry ran a couple of yachts over in thick fog, lots of lifeboats tasked to Cowes to help.......
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Old 21 October 2018, 15:46   #8
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Given the nature of the message in the OP, I wonder why Borris thought it was wise to share the content?
Yes I'm sure the police are knocking on his door as we speak
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Old 21 October 2018, 15:51   #9
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Yes I'm sure the police are knocking on his door as we speak


Nah! They’ll be busy counselling some snowflake who’s been offended on Facebook
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Old 21 October 2018, 17:26   #10
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Yes I'm sure the police are knocking on his door as we speak


Do we need to believe that a prosecution is likely for us to abide by the law? Do we need to tell us about a fatality and rescue operation to ask whether you are allowed to listen to a channel your radio doesn’t have precisely so that the emergency services can discuss details without the public joining in?
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