VIDEO – Launching the MAYDAY with the VHF.


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launching mayday vhf

LAUNCHING MAYDAY with the VHF and the use of the shipboard radio are the subject of the new video-episode of SAIL School, which considers the case of a VOCAL distress call that anyone on a cruise, even a child, should know how to launch.

The VHF distress call

With the VHF radio on channel 16, we can issue a voice distress call, which will be received by all listening boats and coastal stations, typically within a 10-20km radius.
MAYDAY when the crew is in imminent danger to their lives, such as in situations of fire on board, waterways, sinking, serious medical emergency, Man overboard, abandon ship…
PAN PAN PAN for all other requests for assistance without an immediate hazard, e.g., steering gear failure, engine failure, damage that impairs navigation, prohibitive sea conditions that may require assistance.

How to launch MAYDAY with VHF.

Having made the decision to launch the MAYDAY distress call with the onboard VHF radio, there is a fairly standard procedure. The video suggests pinning the following procedure near the radio, so that even an inexperienced crew in emergency (and panic) situations can easily follow it:

  • Verify and note time and location of the vessel,
  • Press the button that immediately selects channel 16;
  • Select the maximum transmission power with the HI button (25w for fixed, 6w for portable);
    Speak into the microphone by pressing PUSH TO TALK and transmit the MAYDAY call by repeating MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY, the name of the vessel, 3 times;
  • Repeat the call at 2-minute intervals for at least three times or until answered

Once contacted continue on channel 16 by repeating MAYDAY once before communication and following:

  • Location, by coordinates or surveys, speed and direction;
  • Number of people on board;
  • Nature of the emergency

Twenty-first video episode of SAIL School.

Today’s video, as well as all previous episodes of SAIL School, are available on the SAIL Newspaper youtube channel there are both beginners and experts!




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