Stop us­ing Ch16 for ra­dio checks

Practical Boat Owner - - News -

Ra­dio checks should be pri­mar­ily car­ried out with lo­cal mari­nas and nearby ves­sels rather than the coast­guard, says the Cruis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (CA).

It is urg­ing boaters and sailors to think be­fore call­ing Ch16 af­ter gath­er­ing anec­do­tal ev­i­dence of a pro­lif­er­a­tion of ra­dio check re­quests, es­pe­cially in the So­lent and Fal­mouth.

Speak­ing on be­half of the CA’s Reg­u­la­tions and Tech­ni­cal Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, Robin Baron said us­ing Ch16 for a ra­dio check was not the ‘best use of coast­guard (HMCG) re­sources at a time when we know they are hard pressed with other more im­por­tant is­sues in­clud­ing Search and Res­cue.’

‘The Mar­itime and Coast­guard Agency has con­firmed that ra­dio checks should pri­mar­ily be con­ducted with lo­cal mari­nas and nearby ves­sels. Ra­dio checks with HMCG should not be a first re­sort as it ties up the air and in­creases op­er­a­tor work­load,’ stressed Baron.

The CA said its re­search has con­firmed that ra­dio checks with other ves­sels or shore sta­tions at 1W power and at a dis­tance of around 8 miles pro­vide a much bet­ter test of an­tenna and ra­dio set per­for­mance.

Its rec­om­men­da­tion is that ra­dio checks should be car­ried out pri­mar­ily with mari­nas and other shore sta­tions, such as the Na­tional Coast­watch In­sti­tu­tion (NCI) on Ch65 or with other ves­sels.

Ra­dio checks can be car­ried out with NCI sta­tions

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