VHF Radio Operator

General knowledge of VHF radiotelephone communications in the maritime mobile service.

The general principles and basic features of the maritime service relevant to vessels not subject to a compulsory fit under the safety of lives at sea (SOLAS) Convention.

Detailed working knowledge of radio equipment:
The VHF radio installation. Purpose and use of Digital Selective Calling (DSC) facilities.

Operational procedures and practical operation of the GMDSS equipment:
Search and Rescue (SAR) Procedures in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety system (GMDSS). Distress, urgency and safety communication procedures in the GMDSS. Protection of distress frequencies. Maritime Safety Information (MSI). Alerting and Locating Signals.

Operational procedures and regulations for VHF communications:
Ability to exchange communications relevant to the safety of life at sea. Regulations, obligatory procedures and practices. Practical and theoretical knowledge of radiotelephone procedures.

Distress Situations:
Define a distress situation. Initiate a DSC distress alert, with position and time input manually or automatically. Send a Mayday call and massage by voice. Respond appropriately to a DSC distress alert and to a Mayday call message, including relay of a distress message. Deploy an EPIRB and SART.

Urgency Situations:
Define an urgency situation, Initiate a DSC urgency alert. Send a Pan Pan call and message by voice, respond appropriately to an urgency message.

Safety Situations:
Identify a situation in which a safety message is appropriate. Initiate a DSC alert. Send a message by voice. Receive Maritime Safety Information by NAVTEX.

Routine Communication:
Initiate a DSC routine call. Establish communication and exchange messages with other stations by voice on appropriate channels. Test the radio phone by means of an appropriate test call. Enter a DSC group and individual Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI). Maintain an appropriate listening watch on DSC and voice channels. Use the international phonetic alphabet.

NOTE: There is pre course study required and a separate practical exam at the end of the course. The fee to the RYA to cover this and the issue of the licence is £60 paid directly to them.