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How to use your VHF radio

Using your VHF Radio

There is no doubt that one of the most important things you need to know when taking your boat out of the safety of the Cape Hawke Harbour, is how and when to use your VHF radio. Of course the two most obvious uses are to “log on” with Marine Rescue Forster Tuncurry as you go out (and log off as you return to the boat ramp or mooring) and to ask for help when things go wrong.

Anyone can turn a radio on and off, but do you know what channel to use and what to say? The video clip below was produced by ACMA as an educational aid for the recreational boating community. They managed to hook Nick Duigan and Andrew Hart (presenters from Hook Line and Sinker) along with Marine Rescue volunteer Greg Searle to talk about how to use a VHF marine radio in an emergency.

Please note that in the video it talks about using channels 72,73 as a working channel once initial contact has been made. In and around Cape Hawke we use channel 77 as the talk channel. We also have a repeater channel that give us better range and that is channel 21. If you can’t reach us on 16 you can try channel 21. Ordinarily you should call in on channel 16 (always) and then switch over to 77 to have the conversation.