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Old 05 October 2015, 04:29   #1
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VHF Call Procedure - Identification

VHF Call Procedures

Hi All, whatís peoples thoughts on if you need to call coastguard using a VHF but youíre not actually on the water but on land what do you say to identify yourself so as not to confuse them, obviously normally procedure is to use your boat name on the water, but if calling from land what do you say ?

Background is I attended the lighting up event at Durdle Door last Thursday evening, as I knew mobile phone reception is bad in that area I took my handheld VHF with me, I kind of had a premonition things would be chaotic at the event so my thought was just in case I would take it.

The crowds were huge and cars parked all over the place, as I approached the car park at the top of the hill from Durdle Door after the event I came across a crowd gathered round an old chap who was being given CPR by a first aider, there was uncertainty expressed by people on the scene whether an ambulance had been called so I moved off further up the hill and used my VHF as I could not get a mobile signal and spoke to Solent coastguard and described the situation and asked them to ensure an ambulance was called to the scene.

About 20 minutes later as the ambulance that was called could not reach the scene due to the way people had parked on the narrow approach roads the coastguard helicopter showed up and landed in a flat area no bigger than my driveway and air lifted casualty away. (unfortunately the causality didnít recover in hospital)

So my question is what is the correct procedure to identify yourself if your using a VHF on land as opposed to on the water in your boat. ?
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Old 05 October 2015, 04:45   #2
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In an emergency situation like that I would identify yourself, otherwise it could be interpreted as a hoax call.

We all know what the rules are about using a VHF radio on land. However my understanding is that if it's an emergency then even someone with no VHF license can use radio equipment to summon help and assistance.

So from me. All big well done for having the foresight in taking your VHF "just in case". I saw this on the news and you without doubt along with the others that gave CPR and assistance at the scene saved this guys life and got him to hospital. I have no idea how the guy is now however, anyone know?
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Old 05 October 2015, 05:03   #3
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Unfortunately the chap passed away in hospital, he was in his late 80's RIP


In an emergency I'd have no qualms about using the VHF in such a situation
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Old 05 October 2015, 05:03   #4
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AIUI use of marine channels from land is illegal other than for emergencies.
I'd suggest using your name as your callsign.
Once you've raised them then give location & nature of casualty as you would at sea.
This might be of interest: Mountain & Hill Walking Safety VHF Radio
Well done though.
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Old 05 October 2015, 05:05   #5
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I think they knew it wasnt a hoax call as i described it well enouth, I may have given my name cant remember it was a bit tramatic. The guy didnt survive, to be honest I didnt think he would, lets say ive seen stuff before and it didnt look good. He had nearly made it to the top of the hill but it is quite a trek for anyone, if lets say your not perfectly fit I expect it may have been a tad too much for him. It is a shame. The event wasn't supposed to be advertised but the bournemouth echo did advertise it which is why thousands of people showed up, very few marshalls, blocked roads and pitch black car park and path, not a good combination.

Full credit to the first aider who must have been giving CPR for more than 30 minutes, he didnt give up at any point.
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Old 05 October 2015, 05:28   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsideways View Post
Unfortunately the chap passed away in hospital, he was in his late 80's RIP


In an emergency I'd have no qualms about using the VHF in such a situation
Sad to hear
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Old 05 October 2015, 05:29   #7
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I think they knew it wasnt a hoax call as i described it well enouth, I may have given my name cant remember it was a bit tramatic. The guy didnt survive, to be honest I didnt think he would, lets say ive seen stuff before and it didnt look good. He had nearly made it to the top of the hill but it is quite a trek for anyone, if lets say your not perfectly fit I expect it may have been a tad too much for him. It is a shame. The event wasn't supposed to be advertised but the bournemouth echo did advertise it which is why thousands of people showed up, very few marshalls, blocked roads and pitch black car park and path, not a good combination.

Full credit to the first aider who must have been giving CPR for more than 30 minutes, he didnt give up at any point.
Did you Mayday your initial contact to get attention?
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Old 05 October 2015, 06:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boristhebold View Post
VHF Call Procedures

Hi All, whatís peoples thoughts on if you need to call coastguard using a VHF but youíre not actually on the water but on land what do you say to identify yourself so as not to confuse them, obviously normally procedure is to use your boat name on the water, but if calling from land what do you say ?

Background is I attended the lighting up event at Durdle Door last Thursday evening, as I knew mobile phone reception is bad in that area I took my handheld VHF with me, I kind of had a premonition things would be chaotic at the event so my thought was just in case I would take it.

The crowds were huge and cars parked all over the place, as I approached the car park at the top of the hill from Durdle Door after the event I came across a crowd gathered round an old chap who was being given CPR by a first aider, there was uncertainty expressed by people on the scene whether an ambulance had been called so I moved off further up the hill and used my VHF as I could not get a mobile signal and spoke to Solent coastguard and described the situation and asked them to ensure an ambulance was called to the scene.

About 20 minutes later as the ambulance that was called could not reach the scene due to the way people had parked on the narrow approach roads the coastguard helicopter showed up and landed in a flat area no bigger than my driveway and air lifted casualty away. (unfortunately the causality didnít recover in hospital)

So my question is what is the correct procedure to identify yourself if your using a VHF on land as opposed to on the water in your boat. ?
Excellent job. Poor chap. I think, as others have said, that in an emergency the CG are unlikely to quibble about your position and just get on with getting assistance to the area.

When I was in the Coastguard we were, I think, the only emergency service that had direct comms. with all the other emergency services, so in this incident, alerting the CG was a good idea.

In answer your question, I think the procedure would be ".... This is [boat name] Mobile." . Whenever we heard that, we would always take into account that the caller may be ashore.
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Old 05 October 2015, 07:34   #9
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spot on mate you got help, sadly the out come wasn't what you want to here. one of the first rules of first aid is to summon help by any means available you were the means whilst CPR was given by the first aider.
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Old 05 October 2015, 08:25   #10
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I carry my handheld when visiting anywhere costal particularly have it at hand when watching my son windsurfing/kitesurfing and used it couple of times to alert CG and guide them to a casulty (Windsurfer and Kitesurfer that where obviously in trouble) made it claer I was on the beach and just used my boat name.

Other times used it to communicate with my boat when my son is using it using call sign Dad! asked the question when I did the course but didnt get a sensible answer!

To be honest there are many using radios that havent got a license or in some cases any idea how to use them! so as long as your sensible dont interrupt emergency situation not sure CG are really that bothered
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