After my husband and I decided to sell everything we own, buy a sailboat, and sail around the world, I had to conquer my VHF fears. This was before I created VHF Radio Checklists. I had to overcome my anxiety of pronouncing something wrong, saying ‘over’ when I should have said ‘out’, and on a more important note; I had to learn how to use the VHF in the case of an emergency.
VHF Radio Checklists was created to help people like me to get familiar with what to say, how to say it and what to do if an emergency does occur. Filled with examples, checklists and fill in the blank templates, this guide can be given to any crew member for general help on how to make a ship-to-ship call or how to handle an emergency or safety broadcast.
This collection includes a set of examples for each of the following AND a fill in the blanks template for readers to use:
- Using the VHF to call a boat or place
- MAYDAY Broadcast
- MAYDAY RELAY Broadcast
- PAN PAN Broadcast
- Broadcast to Request Medical Advice
- SÉCURITÉ message
- Cancelling a VHF Alert
- Sending a RECEIVED MAYDAY Transmission
- Receiving a VHF Distress Message
- In the Appendix, you’ll also find a phonetic alphabet table and a phonetic numerals table
I also offer several pages of tips, suggestions and techniques to make using the VHF radio easier.
Note: A hard copy of this book can be obtained from Amazon.com (link here)
Total Pages: 36 US Letter pages. Includes over 20 tips on how best to use the VHF, examples of all the listed broadcasts above, templates to help a user fill in the blanks to make a broadcast, in addition to a copy of the phonetic alphabet and phonetic numerals table.
Excerpt from VHF Radio Checklists – Sending a MAYDAY Broadcast
In addition to the below checklist and fill in the blank template, within the book you’ll also find a full MAYDAY Broadcast example to get a firm grim on what needs to be said and how it needs be said. Letters and numbers need to be read out phonetically. If the user doesn’t have a military background this type of pronunciation might be foreign to him or her. With the help from the guide a crew member can fill in the template accurately. When emergency strikes it’s imperative to get messages across in the correct way to reduce misunderstandings and delays.
Sending a MAYDAY Broadcast
- Fill out the below template making sure to write the phonetic alphabet for the Call Sign (A=Alpha, B=Beta, etc.), longitude and latitude written out digit by digit (ex. In position four-nine-degrees, three-eight decimal four-five north).
- Open the cover over the red distress button momentarily and if prompted to choose a relevant distress reason (fire, sinking, man over board, etc.).
- Depress the red button for 5 seconds or until the radio informs you that the alert has been sent.
- Wait 15 seconds and then pick up the radio voice transmitter and depress the side button to announce the broadcast outlined below slowly. Repeat the MAYDAY every 4 minutes until a response is received.
MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY.
This is (your boat name 3x):
MAYDAY (your boat name spoken once):
My position is: (Longitude) and (Latitude)
The nature of distress is:
I require immediate assistance. We have ___ persons on board.
Other information to note is as follows:
Over. (Set timer for 4 minutes for next broadcast attempt if nothing heard)