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Assorted radio calls

Guest _rick

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Guest _rick

A brief primer....

Really Sick, Dying, heatstroke, etc or broken boat and you really need help.


Mayday, Mayday, Mayday this is XXXXX in a COLOR kayak located (Lat Long) Geographic name. I am sick ill sinking.

Someone will come back usually within a minute.

They will say something like....

Station calling mayday this is Harbormaster, coast Guard or other boater. can you tell us more.

They will keep you on 16 dont switch if you can avoid it. The coast guard in Boston has control of "high sites" that cover all of new england. So when you hear Bar harbor in Salem its not because of the propogation its the transmitter reciever.

If you are not in any imminent danger or just feel blah. Or perhaps you have a small mostly controllable leak

on 16 Pan Pan Pan Pan Pan Pan ...Hello all stations this is XX a (color) kayak located near (geographic) I am (what your difficulty is)


The other station will come back

vessel calling Pan Pan this is xxx

Remember the radio is for your safety as well as others. Only you can make a judgement call on what to call. Practicing Securite and Mayday (off the radio of course) is probably the best.

Channel 16 international calling and distress

Channel 9 alternate calling frequency

Channel 12 Law Enforcement

Channel 22A US gov liason channel

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For calls below the mayday level the CG usually asks you to switch over to 22a to keep 16 clear for any other emergency that might come up while they're dealing with you.

It can be disconcerting when they ask you to do so. Helps to be ready mentally for the request.

Often they used to ask, on hearing you're a kayaker, whether you have a radio that allows you to switch over to 22a.

But less so these days, seeing that even the cheapest VHF's hold 22a.

For securite you really need to give your alternate channel to work on (72, 68, etc.), as you need to leave 16 clear for others.

Anyone have ch. 16 radio anecdotes to tell?

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>Anyone have ch. 16 radio anecdotes to tell?

Yeah... it's probably not a good idea to be a total prick to the people that are going to save your bacon!!! I was listening to something unfolding on channel 16 one day. A local fisherman was taking on water fast off of Gloucester (fast enough that he signed off for a minute to go put on a survival suit). The USCG deployed a helicopter to lower a pump to him and was sending a boat as well. They were asking for additional information about his condition and he was just a total belligerent jerk to the folks on the radio. A textbook case of severe recto-cranial inversion. I couldn't believe what a jerk this guy was. He maydays for help, gets it ASAP and then he treats his rescuers like crap. Anyhow.. that one got my blood boiling. The CG kept their cool of course. I'm sure the guy was stressed but his responses were beyond that of being scared and stressed. I bet he's a real gem during the holidays.

So the moral of the story is... even if you deserve to sink, the Coast Guard will still rescue you.

Cheers, Joe

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