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.
|29Mhz Skiboat Frequencies|
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
Type of Account
Account Number �
14624500 (Corporate Client Services – Pretoria)
00 7000 000
Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa)
ICASA (Spectrum Licensing)
Pin Mill farm, Block A
Private Bag X 10002
Tel : +27 11 321 8200
|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:
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.
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
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.
|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 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.
|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
0 : nah-dah-zay-roh
Thousand : tou-sand
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
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.
A shipstation or coast station learning of a mobile station in distress should relay a distress message in the following cases
- when the station in distress cannot transmit a distress message itself.
- when the master or person responsible for the station considers that further help is necessary.
- 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
|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.
|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
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.
|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, Navigation Warnings and Traffic ListsS.A. coast stations broadcast weather forecasts, weather reports, navigation warnings and traffic lists at fixed times as follows
|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?
Q. How can you tell the type of Station from its Call Sign?
Q. May Test Calls be made on 2182 kHz and/or Channel 16?
Q. What is meant by “Working Frequencies”?
Q. What is a Simplex Frequency?
Q. What you understand by “Duplex Working”?
Q. What is a “TR”
Q. How often are TR’s required to be sent.
Q. Who starts communications on the working frequency?
Q. Name the three most important Radio Telephone Procedures?
Q. Can the Radio Operator of his own accord or by his own initiative transmit a Distress Call?
Q. Name the constituent parts of the Distress Procedure?
Q. What is the Distress Signal?
Q. What is the Distress Call?
Q. What is the Distress
Q. On what frequency will the Urgency Signal be sent?
Q. Who authorises the transmission of a PAN-PAN?
Q. To whom is the Urgency Message normally addressed?
Q. When can the Alarm Signal be used to precede the Pan-Pan?
Q. Under what circumstances would a vessel be likely to use the Safety signal.
Q. Describe the “Medico” Procedure and its use.
Q. What is the benefit of the Medico Service?
Q. What other service provided by the Coast station is useful?
Q. Name the main Coast Stations in SA waters.
Q. How often should a check be made on the batteries?
Q. How often should Specific gravity’s be checked?
Q. What is Single SideBand ?
Q. What is A3H/A3J?
Q. Which of the above modes are used on 2Mhz?