Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: VHF Protocol
"I disagree that they call "vessel hailing the CG" simply because they believe a name is "silly". I am almost certain that there is a protocol that dictates the usage of vessel name versus the generic response."
There IS a very simple protocol. First, understand that radio watchstanders are sometimes civilian volunteers, sometimes ham radio operators, who have been recruited to supplement the understaffed stations. But the protocol is very simple. When the radio operator says "WTF? What was that name?" you will get a return call of "Vessel hailing..." either because they couldn't understand you, or the signal was too weak, or someone said "WTF did he say?" for whatever reason.
The request for a cell phone is also common protocol. The USCG has a very limited number of working channels and if they want to keep those free, they need to move the traffic elsewhere. Although it pays to make sure "Bars bars, who's got three bars?" before you assume you can switch to a cell phone.
The USCG are the best in the business. There's usually a rationale behind their actions.