RADIO CHECKSThis raises the question as to which VHF channel to use to contact the Coastguard and, in particular, the channel to use for radio checks. Channel 16 – the distress, safety and calling channel – is currently widely used but the volume of calls is swamping the Coastguard, to the detriment of urgent calls which could put lives at risk. Alternative channels are available – why not call your local National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) station on Channel 65 (check the manning times on the NCI website). They will be more than happy to oblige and also to pass on current local weather and the inshore waters forecast if requested. It is also an opportunity for both parties to practice and maintain VHF radio skills without cluttering up Channel 16.
Exmouth NCI is here to help and looking forward to your calls on Channel 65.
(acknowledgement Yachting Monthly Sep - Dec 16)