Please be aware that all crews are required to carry Handheld VHF Radios
This makes real sense and when you stop to think we are way behind the times in not carrying voice communication out on the sea. A reliance on flares is misplaced in they may not be seen or you may not be able to operate them, they are a great back up but can’t compete with being able to talk with the emergency services.
In addition being able to communicate with Guard Boats, Time Keepers, other crews and vessels will make racing not only safer but more interesting.
So what’s delayed the introduction of such an important tool? Cost has been a barrier but as with all technology things have become cheaper, smaller and easier to use. A good quality VHF waterproof, floating and with sufficient range costs as little as £70.
The other barrier has been a fear of use, although we are all very comfortable talking on mobile phones a radio holds some concerns. Jersey Coastguard are very keen for us to start using radios and users shouldn’t be concerned, just be clear and courteous on the air.
Channels are simple:
- 16 for Coastguard Emergencies
- 14 for Port Control (VTS)
- 77 for Race talk (JRC working channel)
The simple base rules are;
‘two can’t talk at the same time’ ( the more powerful radio will override)
To avoid this tell others that you have finished your sentence with the command word ‘OVER’. If you’ve actually finished talking say ‘OUT’.
Start a conversation with announcing who you want to talk to and who you are – “Hallo VTS this is Rowing Boat Rough Stuff” OVER
We will look forward to talking to you on the start line!
Please download and refer to the following guides for the rules and safety adhered to by the Jersey Rowing Club.