Skippers Radio

Maritime radiotelephone apparatus should be operated only by or under the supervision of operators in possession of at least a Restricted Radiotelephone Operators Certificate and an Authority to Operate issued by the Postmaster General.

By law, all skiboaters must have a radio licence from Icasa for their VHF and 29Mhz Marine radios.
Download the application and appendix forms
Right click and Save Target as ICASA_radio_application_for_SkiBoat.pdf [700kb]
29Mhz Skiboat Frequencies

29MHz Channels and Frequency allocation for Skiboats

Channel Number

Channel Number



19 A 29.9350 Ski boat Call frequency
6 B 29.7725 Ski boat Talk frequency
22 C 29.9725 Ski boat Talk frequency



The interception of communications other than those which the station is licensed to receive, is forbidden. If such communications are received involuntarily they may not be reproduced in writing, communicated to other persons or used for any purposes whatsoever.

The cost of the licence is as follows: 

  • Once off application fee around R 210.00
  • Annual licence fee around R 42.00 per radio set

Icasa Banking Details

Bank Name
Type of Account
Account Number �
Branch Number
Ref No.
Deposit Account�
1462 002927
14624500    (Corporate Client Services – Pretoria)
00 7000 000

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa)
ICASA (Spectrum Licensing)

164 Katherine Street
Pin Mill farm, Block A
Private Bag X 10002
Sandton, 2146
Tel : +27 11 321 8200

Radio Logbook

Every shipstation operating on Maritime radio frequencies should keep a radio log (diary of the radio service) which should be kept on board available for inspection by Radio Inspectors appointed by the Postmaster General.Each sheet of the log should be numbered and dated and when completed, the logbook or copies of the logsheets should be handed in or posted to the nearest Radio Inspector. The times of all entries made in the log should be in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the following entries should be made:

  1. Name, address and qualifications of the radio operator.
  2. The times on and off watch and the names and signatures of the operators concerned.
  3. Time of arrival and departure from port/ports and the names of the port/ports.
  4. The position of the vessel, at least once a day, unless not permitted by the vessels rules.
  5. The names of the stations worked and frequencies used – see paragraph 8.
  6. The times communications commenced and were completed – see paragraph 8.
  7. A summary of all communications relating to distress, urgency and safety traffic.
  8. A summary of all communications exchanged between the vessel and other stations, names of the stations, frequencies used, times commenced, times completed, strength and readability of the stations signals, difficulties experienced, etc.
  9. A reference to important service incidents, such as failures of power supply or apparatus failure.
  10. Condition of the batteries, which should be maintained in a fully charged condition when at sea (daily entries prescribed).
  11. Daily time checks, including errors observed and corrections made to the prescribed cloth for the radio installation.
  12. Condition of the emergency transmitter and emergency receiver daily.
  13. Condition of the portable lifeboat radio weekly.

A reliable clock, with a dial of not less than 5 inches in diameter, the face of which should be marked to indicate the silence periods, should be securely mounted within sight of the operating position of the radiotelephone installation.

Restrictions whilst in port

Vessels in harbour may not use their radio installations at all while alongside a wharf, quay or jetty, except for the purpose of authorised tests or reporting their departure on VHF and when anchored in any bay of the Republic, vessels may use their radio installations to communicate with South African stations only.


Other Restrictions

It is forbidden to”

  1. exchange traffic other than distress, urgency and safety traffic on 2182 4125 kHz and channel 16.
  2. exchange unnecessary signals of any kind.
  3. use radiotelephone installations for conversations other than those necessary for the transmission of authorised messages or radiotelephone calls.
  4. to use offensive language.
  5. use the radio apparatus whilst the vessel is tied up alongside a wharf, pier or jetty inside any harbour or port or when the vessel is anchored inside port limits.
  6. disclose the contents of telegrams, messages and telephone calls.
  7. install or be in possession of unlicensed apparatus.
  8. interfere or cause interference to other transmissions.

Stations should listen before calling

Except when in DISTRESS, a station wishing to call should listen on the calling frequency for a reasonable period to ensure

  1. that there is no distress traffic in progress and
  2. that interference will not be caused to other communications already in progress; and should check the time to ensure that the SILENCE PERIODS are not violated.

Control of Working

Except in the case of DISTRESS, the coast station controls the communications in their area and shipstations may not interfere with the working of the coast stations. They should listen on the required frequencies before calling.In DISTRESS situations, the vessel in distress controls the communications unless it hands over control to another station, usually the nearest coast station and/or the rescue vessel.

Calling frequencies (VHF)

Channel 16 is both the calling and the distress frequency for the use of VHF shipstations.Apart from DISTRESS CALLS, DISTRESS TRAFFIC, URGENCY AND SAFETY SIGNALS and MESSAGES, i.e. distress messages, for which it is obligatory, these frequencies may be used ONLY for calls and answers and NOT for passing messages, etc.

Messages should be transmitted on working frequencies allocated to the stations. The use of channel 16 for the transmission of messages is FORBIDDEN.

Apart from DISTRESS, URGENCY and SAFETY communications calling signals preparatory to the exchange of traffic should not exceed ONE MINUTE when using channel 16.

When a station does not reply to a call sent three times at intervals of two minutes, calling should cease and may be renewed only after an interval of 15 minutes, but if interference will not be caused to other communications, calls may be renewed after a shorter period than 15 minutes, but not less than THREE minutes. Before renewing a call, the calling station should ascertain that the station called is not in communication with another station, e.g. on another frequency. Stations must not radiate a carrier between calls.

Silence periods

During 3 minute periods on each hour and each half hour, e.g. 0000-0003 0030-0033, all transmissions on channel 16 should cease except transmissions concerning DISTRESS, URGENCY and SAFETY and a listening watch kept on channel 16, in order to allow any weak signals of any vessel in distress to be heard without interference.Stations wishing to call on channel 16 should always check the time to ensure that the SILENCE PERIODS are not violated.

The first minute of the silence periods should be reserved for DISTRESS calls, the second minute for MAYDAY RELAYS, if there are Maydays at the time, and the third minute for URGENCY signals and URGENCY messages, if there are no maydays or mayday relays at the time. Navigation warnings may be announced just before the end of the Silence Periods and the messages transmitted just after the Silence Periods, preferably on a working frequency, which should be announced on channel 16.

All stations should avoid causing interference on these transmissions and should listen until they are certain that the transmissions are of no concern to them.

Calling Procedure

Calling Procedure and an example of Call, Reply and Changing to Working FrequenciesThe calling and working procedure between two stations, e.g. a ship station Alpha and a coast station Durban Radio, should be as follows:

After ascertaining that it will not interfere with any communications or call in the silence period, the ship station ALPHA calls WALVIS BAY RADIO as follows:

“Hullo DURBAN RADIO, DURBAN RADIO, DURBAN RADIO, this is ALPHA, ALPHA, ALPHA (not more than 3 times). I have a radiotelegram for you. My working frequency is channel 9 over”

DURBAN RADIO replies “Hullo ALPHA (not more than three times) this is DURBAN RADIO (not more than three times), Roger listen for me on channel 9. Your turn is number two. Over”

Alpha acknowledge “Roger. Going up and standing by. Over”

DURBAN RADIO should also acknowledge that they have understood each other. The call and answer should have been on channel l6. Alpha and DURBAN RADIO then change to the arranged frequencies, although DURBAN RADIO may be busy on another frequency so Alpha should standby on channel 16 until DURBAN RADIO calls him. They should both check that they call and listen on the correct frequencies as arranged.

Alpha then replies “Hullo DURBAN RADIO, DURBAN RADIO, DURBAN RADIO this is ALPHA, ALPHA, ALPHA (not more than three times) are you receiving me? Over”

DURBAN RADIO replies “Hullo ALPHA (not more than three times) this is DURBAN RADIO (not more than three times) Receiving you OK. Send your message. Over”

Alpha replies “Hullo DURBAN RADIO this is ALPHA. Radiotelegram begin. From ALPHA (ships name) Number 1 (number of telegram) Number of words ………. Date ……… Time ………(GMT) Service indications/instructions, if any ……… Paid service instructions, if any ………, Name and address of addressee Text (message) …….. Signature (if any) Radiotelegram ends, collation ……… Repetition of all difficult words and code groups etc., each phrase repeated twice at dictation speed. Over”

DURBAN RADIO acknowledges receipt “Hullo ALPHA this is WALVIS BAY RADIO your number one received over”

Alpha replies “Hullo DURBAN RADIO this is ALPHA, I have nothing further to communicate Out”

Walvisbay radio acknowledges “Roger out”

A radiotelegram, or series of telegrams, should not be considered as cleared until the acknowledgement as above has been received and understood. Should atmospheric conditions be bad or reception difficult, DURBAN RADIO may repeat the telegram back to Alpha in full or part for confirmation.

Phonetic alphabet

Speak SLOWLY and DISTINCTLY at ALL times. In the telephoning of words, the vowel sounds should be given their ordinary value.The sounds of the consonants should be emphasised. When it is necessary to spell out call signs, unusual words, figures, etc., the following Phonetic Alphabet and Figure Code should be used.

A : Alfa
B : Bravo
C : Charlie
D : Delta
E : Echo
F : Foxtrot
G : Golf
H : Hotel
I : India
J : Juliet
K : Kilo
L : Lima
M : Mike
N : November
0 : Oscar
P : Papa
Q : Quebec
R : Romeo
S : Sierra
T : Tango
U : Uniform
V : Victor
W : Whisky
X : X-ray
Y : Yankee
Z : Zulu

0 : nah-dah-zay-roh
1 : ooo-hag-one
2 : bees-soh-two
3 : tay-rah-three
4 : kar-tay-four
5 : pan tah-five
6 : sok-see-six
7 : say-tay-seven
8 : ok-toh-eight
9 : no-vay-nine

Thousand : tou-sand
Decimal : day-see-mal

Radio telephone calls

Arranging Radiotelephone Calls e.g. R/t call between vessel ALPHA and DURBAN RADIOAlpha calls Walvisbay radio on one of the calling frequencies channel 16 VHF “Hullo DURBAN RADIO DURBAN RADIO DURBAN radio this is ALPHA ALPHA ALPHA calling for a radiotelephone call: my working frequency is ……. over”

Walvisbay radio replies “Hullo ALPHA this is DURBAN radio Roger, listen for me on ……. your turn is number ……. over”

ALPHA acknowledges “Roger, changing frequency over”

ZSV acknowledge “Roger, please stand by on ………

ALPHA then changes frequency and should retune his transmitter (unless VHF). If he doesn’t have a crystal-controlled spot frequency on ZSV’s frequency he should tune his receiver until he picks up ZSV on the prearranged frequency and then wait until ZSV calls him.

When his turn comes up and ZSV calls him, he should go ahead and pass particulars of the call, telephone number, name of person wanted, name of person making the call on board, his call sign, name and address of person or organisation that settles the shipstations radiotelephone accounts (QRC) and position of the ship in latitude and longitude or other common terminology (QTH).

Radiotelephone calls can be established to telephone subscribers through Walvis Bay radio, Luderitz radio, Cape Town radio, Port Elizabeth radio, East London radio and Durban radio stations, by calling up on any of the calling frequencies and changing over to ship/shore frequencies as described above.

Distress Terminolgy & Procedures

Page 1 of 4

The radiotelephone distress signal consists of the expression MAYDAY. This signal, which indicates that the vessel sending it is threatened by grave and imminent danger and that the vessel requires immediate assistance, is used in the distress call which precedes the distress message and may only be transmitted on the authority of the Master or person responsible for the vessel. The transmission should be made slowly and distinctly, each word clearly pronounced.

The distress call and distress message should be preceded by the ALARM SIGNAL which consists of two alternative audio frequency tones, one a high note of 2200 cycles per second and the other a low note of l300 cycles per second, making a distinctive warbling sound which should be transmitted for approximately 30-60 seconds time permitting.

The purpose of the ALARM SIGNAL is to attract attention and to announce

  2. urgent cyclone warnings, by authorised coast stations
  3. the loss of a person overboard when assistance by other ships is required and cannot be satisfactorily obtained by the use of the URGENCY SIGNAL only. The distress signal MAYDAY should be sent before each call and before each message concerning distress.

The DISTRESS CALL consists of the Distress Signal MAYDAY transmitted three times, followed by the words THIS IS and the name and call sign of the vessel in distress, repeated three times.

The Distress Message consists of the Distress Signal MAYDAY followed by the name and call sign of the vessel in distress, its position, either in latitude or longitude and/or whenever possible by its bearing and distance in nautical miles from a known geographical point, the nature of the distress, the kind of assistance required, and any other information of use to rescue vessels.

The Distress Call has ABSOLUTE PRIORITY over all other transmissions. All stations helping it must immediately suspend all transmissions likely to interfere with the distress call and distress traffic and listen on the frequency on which the distress call has been made.

Example of Distress Call and Message

The ALARM SIGNAL transmitted for 30 – 60 seconds, followed by the spoken words MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, this is …….. (name and/or call sign of vessel in distress, repeated three times) MAYDAY, name of vessel …….. position 10 miles Southwest of Walvis Bay, struck unidentified object, and sinking, require immediate assistance, will fire off distress rockets at intervals (and any other information that may be of assistance to rescue operations) ….. OVER.
Ackmowledgement of Receipt of a Distress Message

Vessels in the vicinity should acknowledge receipt immediately but when in the vicinity of a coast station time should be allowed for the coast station to reply without interference.

Vessels not in the immediate vicinity should allow a short interval to elapse before acknowledging, to allow stations near the vessel in distress and in a better position to render assistance to acknowledge receipt without interference from stations not in the vicinity.

Distress messages should be acknowledged as follows

Name of vessel or coast station that transmitted the distress message, repeated three times THIS IS ……. (name of vessel or coast station acknowledging receipt, repeated three times) RECEIVED MAYDAY OVER.

Every vessel acknowledging receipt of a distress message should, upon the order of the Master or person responsible for the vessel, supply its name, position, speed at which it is proceeding to the distress scene, and the time it will take to reach the distress scene.

When not in a position to render assistance, a station hearing a distress message which has not be acknowledged should take all possible steps to attract attention of other stations who may be in a position to render assistance. The ALARM SIGNAL and the MAYDAY RELAY signal should be used to attract attention.

The SILENCE PERIODS may be used for repeating/relaying distress messages and the distress messages may also be repeated/relayed on any other frequency if further assistance is required. The frequency of channel 16 are recommended and the distress message may be repeated/relayed on all of these frequencies if no attention is obtained on the others.

Mayday Relay

A shipstation or coast station learning of a mobile station in distress should relay a distress message in the following cases

  1. when the station in distress cannot transmit a distress message itself.
  2. when the master or person responsible for the station considers that further help is necessary.
  3. when it has heard a distress call that has not been acknowledged and is not in a position to render assistance itself.

The distress message should be announced and relayed as follows:

MAYDAY RELAY three times, THIS IS …….. name of station relaying the distress message, repeated three times, distress message as received.

When relaying a distress message it is important to use the words MAYDAY RELAY so that D.F. bearings are not taken on the wrong station.

The distress signal may be used only when immediate assistance is required, i.e. only when the safety of life or a vessel is in imminent danger. Except in the case of distress, the use of the distress signal is forbidden.

Restrictions during distress communications

Restrictions on other stations during distress communications

The vessel in distress or the station controlling distress traffic may impose silence on ALL other stations or any one station, by transmitting the signal SEELONCE MAYDAY followed by its name or identification on the frequency being used for distress working.

No other station may use this expression. Other stations wishing to impose silence may use the expression SEELONCE DISTRESS followed by its name or identification.

Stations not participating in the rescue operations may not transmit on the frequencies being used for distress communications before the controlling station announces SEELONCE FEENEE in which case normal communications may be resumed or SEELONCE PRUDONCE in which case the frequencies being used for distress communications may be used for other communications providing no interference is caused to the distress communications (SEELONCE PRUDONCE is or should be announced when continuous silence is no longer required, when other brief communications are allowed on condition that the operators listen carefully before communicating to avoid interference when the frequencies are required by the stations involved in the rescue operations)

At the end of the distress phase, when no further assistance is required, the controlling station should cancel the silence imposed by the distress signals by broadcasting a message to ALL stations as follows MAYDAY (once) hullo ALL STATIONS (3 times) this is …… name of controlling station, 3 times, time and name of ship that was in distress, SEELONCE FEENEE OUT.

Normal communications may then be resumed but stations should listen carefully and avoid interference to urgency and safety messages which often follow distress operations

Urgency Signal

The Radiotelephone Urgency Signal is the expression PAN-PAN transmitted three times before the call and may be sent only on the authority of the master or person responsible for the station.

It indicates that the station transmitting it has a very urgent message to transmit concerning the safety of a ship, aircraft or other vessel; or the safety of a person e.g. engine breakdown and vessel drifting into danger, but not in immediate danger and requiring a tow or other assistance, urgently; serious illness or injury of a person on board, man overboard, etc.

The Urgency Signal should be used to announce an urgency message on channel 16 and may be addressed to a particular station or to all stations (Charlie Quebec).

The Urgency Signal has priority over all other signals except Distress Signals and stations hearing it should avoid interfering with the Urgency Message.

Stations hearing the Urgency Signal should continue to listen for at least three minutes. If at the end of that period no Urgency Message has been heard, normal working may be resumed.

If the Urgency Message was addressed to all stations, the station which transmitted it should cancel it by another message addressed to all stations when no further assistance is required.

Urgency Messages may be repeated in the last minute of silence periods an/or on the alternative call and safety frequency channel 16 if insufficient response is obtained.

Safety Signal

The expression SECURITE pronounced SAY-CURE-E-TAY repeated three times preceding a call to all stations indicates that the station making the call is announcing a message concerning the safety of navigation, e.g. a Navigation Warning, Gale Warning, etc.

Navigation warnings should be announced on 2l82 or channel 16 and transmitted on working frequencies. The Safety signal SECURITE should be transmitted or repeated towards the end of the first available Silence Period and the warning transmitted immediately after the Silence Period.

The Safety Signal has priority over all other signals except Distress and Urgency signals/message and stations hearing it should not cause interference unless they have a distress or urgency message to transmit.

The Safety Signal, SAY-CURE-E-TAY should be used to announce all navigation warnings, which should be broadcast as follows

SAY-CURE-E-TAY ( three times) Hullo all stations, ( three times) this is…… name of station announcing the warning, (three times) navigation warning number….. will follow on …….. (frequency or channel)

The morning and evening weather bulletins consist of weather forecasts for the periods noon till midnight and midnight till noon, respectively followed by navigation warnings and traffic lists.

The afternoon weather bulletins consist of actual weather observations as at l200 GMT on the same day followed by traffic lists.

ZSC and ZSD also broadcast traffic lists at 0003 0603 and 1403 GMT daily. ZSQ and ZSV call ship stations on 2182 and channel 16 upon receipt of traffic.

The weather bulletins, navigation warnings and traffic lists are announced on 2182 and channel l6.

Order of Priority of Communications

Order of Priority of Communications in Maritime Mobile Service

  1. Distress calls, distress messages and distress traffic.
  2. Communications preceded by the urgency signal
  3. Communications preceded by the safety signal.
  4. Communications relating to radio direction finding.
  5. Communications relating to the navigation and safe movements of aircraft engaged in search and rescue operations.
  6. Communications relating to the navigation, movements and needs of ships and weather observation messages destined for an official meteorological service.
  7. Government radiotelegrams relative to the application of the United Nations Charter (ETATPRIORITENATIONS)
  8. Government radiotelegrams with priority and government calls for which priority has been expressly requested (ETATPRIORITE)
  9. Service communications relating to the working of the telecommunication service or to communications previously exchanged, e.g. service telegrams.
  10. Government communications other than those shown ordinary private communications, RCT radiotelegrams (telegrams concerning persons protected in time of war by the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949) and press radiotelegrams.

The navigation warning should then be re-announced and broadcasted on the working frequency which was announced on the calling frequency.

Navigation warnings broadcasted by shipstations are usually intercepted and relayed by the responsible coast stations but when necessary the shipstations should repeat their navigation warnings at suitable intervals, e.g. when towing another vessel or when the responsible coast station has not acknowledged receipt.

Channels (VHF)

VHF Channels          6 (156,3 MHz) Intership (1st choice) & rescue co-ordination

8 (156,4 MHz) Intership ( 2nd choice)

10 (156,5 MHz) Intership ( 3rd choice)

12 (156,6 MHz) Port operations, e.g. port control and harbour working (1st choice)

14 (l56,7 MHz) Harbour working ( 2nd choice)

16 (156,8 MHz) Distress, safety and calling channel (like 2182 kHz)

26 (157,3 / 161,9 MHz) Ship to shore communications (1st choice)

27 (157,350 / 161.950) Ship to shore communications (2nd choice)

421 (4125 / 4419,4 kHz) Safety and calling

401 (4063 / 4357,4 kHz) Ship To Shore communications with ZSV

403 (4069,2 / 4363,6 kHz) Ship To Shore communications with ZSQ

405 (4075,4 / 4369,8 kHz) Ship To Shore communications with ZCS

407 (4081,6 / 4376 kHz) Ship To Shore communications with ZSD

821 (8257 / 8780,9 kHz) International calling channel

801 (8207,4 / 8731,3 kHz) Ship To Shore communications ZSV

805 (8207,4 / 873l,3 kHz) Ship To Shore communications ZSC

808 (8216,7 / 8740,6 kHz) Ship To Shore communications ZSD

Weather Bulletins

Weather Bulletins, Navigation Warnings and Traffic ListsS.A. coast stations broadcast weather forecasts, weather reports, navigation warnings and traffic lists at fixed times as follows

  • Cape Town Radio ZSC on 1765 and 4143,6 kHz and channel 24/26 at 0948 1333 and 1748 GMT
  • Durban Radio ZSD on 1765 4376 and 8740,6 kHz and channel 26 at 0918 1303 and 1703 GMT
  • East London Radio ZSA on 1700 kHz and channel 26 at 0933 1340 and l720 GMT
  • Luderitz Radio ZSL on 2607 kHz at 0933 l333 and 1633 GMT
  • Port Elizabeth Radio ZSQ on 1765 kHz and channel 26 at 0933 1340 and 1720 GMT
  • Walvis Bay Radio ZSV on l765 4357,4 kHz and channel 26 at 0933 1333 and 1633 GMT


Additional Questions & Answers for candidates wanting to obtain a Marine radio operator’s certificate Q. Name the Licence required by Operators.
A. Postmaster General’s Radiotelephone Restricted (Marine) Licence.Q. Who is in control of and responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment?
A. The Licensed OperatorQ. Who keeps the Radio Log and who countersigns it?
A. The Radio Operator and the Master or CoxswainQ. What Watchkeeping duties are mandatory?
A. For Coast Stations 24 hrs on 2l82 kHz and CH16. For ship Stations the maximum practical watch on 2182 and CH16 during watch period especially during Silence Period.

Q. What is the significance of the Silence period?
A. All transmissions on the Distress frequency will cease except for Distress Traffic.

Q. How can you tell the type of Station from its Call Sign?
A. Coast Station: Three Letters e.g. ZSQ P E Radio Ship Station: Four Letters or Four Mixed Characters Aircraft (including Helicopters): Five Letters

Q. May Test Calls be made on 2182 kHz and/or Channel 16?
A. Yes, provided you will not cause interference or during a Silence Period.

Q. What is meant by “Working Frequencies”?
A. Alternative for frequencies on which communications can be carried without causing interference on 2182 or CH16.

Q. What is a Simplex Frequency?
A. One on which both stations transmit and receive on the same frequency. e.g. 2182, CH16

Q. What you understand by “Duplex Working”?
A. Operation of Transmission and Reception on different frequencies, e.g. Ship transmits 2049 kHz. Coast Station receives 2049 kHz. Ship Receives 2761 kHz, Coast Station Transmits 276l kHz. NB: CH 25, 26, 24, 27 are all duplex frequencies where the frequency differences are automatically set up within the Equipment on VHF.

Q. What is a “TR”
A. Information to be furnished to the Coast Station by a ship regarding Name, Position, Next Port of Call and ETA.

Q. How often are TR’s required to be sent.
A. At least once every 4 hours in Coastal Waters.

Q. Who starts communications on the working frequency?
A. The station who initiated the call on 2182.

Q. Name the three most important Radio Telephone Procedures?
A. Distress Procedure (Mayday) Urgency Procedure (Pan-Pan) Safety Procedure (Securite)

Q. Can the Radio Operator of his own accord or by his own initiative transmit a Distress Call?
A. No. Only the Master /Coxswain can authorise a Distress Transmission.

Q. Name the constituent parts of the Distress Procedure?
A. The Alarm Signal (if possible) The Distress Call The Distress Message.

Q. What is the Distress Signal?
A. The word “MAYDAY” usually said three times as the first part the Distress Call.

Q. What is the Distress Call?
A. The Distress Signal Mayday (Three Times) This is (your Ship’s name) (three times)

Q. What is the Distress
A. The Distress Signal – Mayday
The Call Sign and Name of Vessel
Particulars of its position
Nature of the distress and assistance required
Other information of assistance to rescue efforts

Q. On what frequency will the Urgency Signal be sent?
A. On the Distress Frequency.

Q. Who authorises the transmission of a PAN-PAN?
A. The Master /Coxswain

Q. To whom is the Urgency Message normally addressed?
A. It may be addressed to all Stations or to any one particular Station.

Q. When can the Alarm Signal be used to precede the Pan-Pan?
A. Only in the case of a Man Overboard where no acknowledgement has been received and you consider that it is essential to try to alert other vessels to the man in the water requiring assistance.

Q. Under what circumstances would a vessel be likely to use the Safety signal.
A. When, having evacuated survivors from a hulk, the drifting vessel is a danger to other vessels. It would be normal however to pass the message on to the Coast Station or the Port Captain who would then initiate the Safety Signal .

Q. Describe the “Medico” Procedure and its use.
A. When medical advice is required a Radiotelegram would be sent to the address “Porthealth” via the nearest Coast Station, the word “Medico” being inserted in the Service Instructions in the preamble; the full details and vital signs of the patient being described in the text. The advice at a Doctor on call for such cases will be relayed by the Coast Station.

Q. What is the benefit of the Medico Service?
A. Direct medical advice on 24 hour availability through the Coast Station at no charge.

Q. What other service provided by the Coast station is useful?
A. The twice daily Weather forecasts which are announced on 2182 an broadcast on 1765. Times vary far the different Coast Stations but are available on request.

Q. Name the main Coast Stations in SA waters.
A. Durban Radio ZSD:
Port Elizabeth Radio ZSQ:
Cape Town Radio ZSC:
Walvis Bay Radio ZSV.
These stations are supplemented by remote controlled 2Mhz stations from St Lucia round Walvis Bay forming a chain giving good 2Mhz coverage.

Q. How often should a check be made on the batteries?
A. Daily voltage and electrolyte level check.

Q. How often should Specific gravity’s be checked?
A. Weekly

Q. What is Single SideBand ?
A. A mode of transmission where the Carrier and one of the Sidebands are suppressed. Briefly, this means that all the power of the transmission is concentrated into one intelligence-carrying-sideband, resulting in an effective power gain over a full double sideband transmission. The transmission will be unintelligible to normal receivers, requiring and SSB receiver for proper reception.

Q. What is A3H/A3J?
A. A3H – a form of Single Sideband where the carrier is not suppressed making the transmission intelligible on normal receivers. A3J- Full Single Sideband as explained above.

Q. Which of the above modes are used on 2Mhz?
A. A3H is used on 2182, most equipment automatically reverts to this mode when 2182 is selected but it is a good habit to select this mode whenever using 2182 in case the automatic selection is not working. On working frequencies use is optional, but obviously A3J with its attendant advantages is preferred.

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