Friday, 21 August 2015

Big Ten Four - Rubber Ducky! Smokey's on our tail.

Blog Reader, Blog Reader, this is Swanage Bravo, Swanage Bravo, check requested, over!

Wednesday night was to be cliff training, but we didn't want to get the kit wet ;-) so we did some radio training instead.

Each Coastguard Rescue Officer (CRO) is issued with a personal radio on joining the Coastguard in order to allow communications within the team, with the Coastguard NMOC, the Coastguard Helicopters, and the RNLI amongst others.

Currently we use an ICOM IC-M1EUROV VHF Marine Transceiver which is a great all round bit of kit. They’re pretty much bulletproof and will even survive being dropped in a cup of tea for 30 minutes! Not that we’d do that.

A marine VHF (Very High Frequency) Radio set is basically a combined transmitter and receiver and only operates on standard, international frequencies known as channels. Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) is the international calling and distress channel; while the Channel 00 is the dedicated Coastguard channel.

The VHF system isn’t there for people to use as a way of chatting to their mates on the water, much like you would on a mobile phone. It is meant as a means of seeking and providing information for those on or in the water and for the rescue services to have a means of communicating and coordinating dealings with emergencies. As you might expect there is a lot to learn about procedure and the correct words to use; or ‘prowords’, such as ‘Over’, ‘Out’, ‘Roger’ etc etc. All very confusing for the newer Coastguards; still its important stuff to learn.

As for 'Over and out,' you would be shot out of the water if you used the phrase on marine radio. 'Over' means 'I have finished speaking and am awaiting a reply.' 'Out' means 'I have finished the communication.' 'Over' and 'Out' should never be used together in serious radio communication.

We learn ABC - Accuracy, Brevity, Clarity.

Swanage Bravo Out.

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