Last Updated on
You can use channel 16 to call a ship or shore station, but if you will be doing this, you must be very brief. We advise this same procedure should be used over channel 9, if channel 9 is what you use as a calling channel.
VHF maritime channel 70 is authorized only for distress, safety, and calling purposes using digital selective calling (DSC) techniques. No other uses are allowed.
Channel 70 is also used to send distress alerts, safety announcements and for calling purposes under the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). Many vessels are fitted with DSC capability and are also using channel 70 for this same purpose. It is vital that this channel can be protected.
A best VHF marine radio is a critical addition to your kit as it enables you to contact other radio users at sea. In case you encounter a challenge, you can use the emergency channel (16) to call for assistance.
Radios are not just useful for emergency situations. You can communicate with other seafarers on one of your radios a great many other channels, as well as let larger vessels nearby know what your location is, just in case. You may also listen to routine weather forecasts and navigational warnings broadcast at 4-hourly intervals for several UK coastal areas.
So just why shouldn’t a Sea Kayaker use a cell phone offshore? In the first place many kayakers venture quite a distance from the coast. The rugged coastlines of Cornwall and Scotland for example, offer many challenges and cell phone coverage is designed to cover the urban landscape including towns, cities and motorways. It is highly unlikely that you will have good cell phone coverage far from the shoreline, particularly at sea level or below cliffs. A marine handheld VHF radio provides you with great coverage and reassurance, which makes it an important piece of kit in offshore situations.