Commercial Shark Fishery Observer Program
Radio Distress Calls
Procedures for Making a Distress Call
- Make sure your communication equipment is on.
- Select VHP channel 16 (156.8 MHz) or 2182 KHz on the SSB.
- Press microphone button and speak slowly, calmly, and clearly saying "MAYDAY-MAYDAY-MAYDAY".
- Continue saying,"This is the F/V (name of boat), (name of boat), (name of boat). Over."
- Release the microphone button and listen for an acknowledgement.
- If no one answers, repeat Steps 3 and 4.
- If there is still no answer, or if the Coast Guard or other vessel responds, say "MAYDAY this is the F/V (name of boat) and give the following information:
- The boats position in latitude and longitude coordinates, loran coordinates, or range and bearing from the closest point of land.
- Nature of distress.
- Number of people onboard.
- Nature of any injuries.
- Present seaworthiness of your vessel.
- Describe your vessel, length, color, hull type, trim, masts, and any other distinguishing features.
- State what frequency you will be listening on.
- State if you are going to be setting off your EPIRB, end message by saying "This is the F/V (name of boat), over."
If your situation permits, standby the radio to await further communications with the Coast Guard or other vessel. If no answer, repeat. Then try another channel.