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Before you get out there to get anything else, you should make sure that you have the best VHF marine radio. A VHF marine radio is the single most important radio system that you should ensure to buy. It probably is also the most inexpensive thing that you will get. This should make you interested now.
If you know that you want to travel more than a few miles away from the shore, you should make sure that you have a plan to buy an MF/HF radio telephone or a mobile satellite telephone, an emergency position indicating radio beacon, or an EPIRB, and a second VHF radio or a cellular telephone also.
Mobile satellite telephones are now more common, and because of this, they are more inexpensive. The mobile satellite will give you an easier and clearer communication than the MF/HF radio telephone, but the HF radio telephone will get high seas marine weather warnings.
If you know that you have a VHF-FM radio, there are some regulations that have been put in place for monitoring and listening to your radio.
Procedure for digital selective calling (DSC) radio: DSC MAYDAY
The procedure for VHF channel 16 MAYDAY:
- If you know that you have a marine radio, then you should tune it to channel 16. Unless you know that you are out the range of VHF of both shore and ships, the you should call on channel 16 first.
- The distress signal “MAYDAY” should be said three times.
- The words “THIS IS” should be said just once.
- The name of the vessel that is in distress should be said three times and call sign or boat registration number should be said once.
- You should repeat MAYDAY and the name of the vessel, say this just one time.
- The nature of your distress should follow and the assistance that you would require.