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Old 05-16-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

The international standards for distress and urgency VHF calls are specified by the ITU for all signatory countries (pretty much all countries are signatories), and they have a provision for using the ship's call-sign .

See ITU Chapter 7


Quote:
32.13C § 9B 1) The distress call sent on the frequency 156.8 MHz (VHF channel 16)
shall be given in the following form:
– the distress signal MAYDAY, spoken three times;
– the words THIS IS;
– the name of the vessel in distress, spoken three times;
– the call sign or other identification;
– the MMSI (if the initial alert has been sent by DSC). (WRC-07)
Note that use of DSC and the MMSI isn't too common worldwide yet, but it will someday be commonplace to use DSC for distress and urgency calls. DSC equipped radios have a log, and MAYDAY signals cannot be deleted from the log, and the radio beeps loudly until the message has been acknowledged so the excuse "I didn't hear that call" no longer applies - whether intentional or unintentional
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Last edited by Zanshin; 05-16-2013 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Corrected spelling, added further DSC information.
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