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umpire111

From Regents Canal along the Thames

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56 minutes ago, Aguila said:

BUT:-

If you make an emergency call on a mobile phone, only the recipient hears it.

If you make a 'Mayday' call on VHF CH 16, everyone in range hears it, and if you make the 'Mayday' call via DCS on CH 70, your GPS lat/long location is also transmitted. My DCS radio makes a hell of a racket if it picks up a DCS 'Mayday' call.

I know which one I would use.

 

 

I'd rather agree - the main benefit is that other boats can hear immediately that you are in distress. 

One possible area of confusion/uncertainty is that most Mayday/emergency calls I have heard on the middle and upper tideway are made on Ch14, the normal port working channel - because that's the channel most boats are listening to. The advice to narrowboats is to use 14 rather than 16.

Fortunately the Coastguard sit next to VTS at Woolwich, so they get to find out pretty quickly.

  • Greenie 1

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Ok....bit confused re the radio issue. Do I need to go on a course and get a licence before I can get onto the tidal Thames.have been on many tidal sections of other rivers and used my handheld without any questions or issues. A yes or no reply would be appreciated.

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15 minutes ago, umpire111 said:

Ok....bit confused re the radio issue. Do I need to go on a course and get a licence before I can get onto the tidal Thames.have been on many tidal sections of other rivers and used my handheld without any questions or issues. A yes or no reply would be appreciated.

It's not quite as simple as yes or no.

In theory you need a course and the licence before you transmit on a Marine band VHF radio - anywhere in the UK, whether inland or tidal (eg Trent locks). There are no special rules for the Thames. 

In practice it is rare for pleasure boaters to be checked; and the PLA would far rather you make an "illegal" mayday call than faff about trying to get through by telephone.

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1 hour ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

One possible area of confusion/uncertainty is that most Mayday/emergency calls I have heard on the middle and upper tideway are made on Ch14, the normal port working channel - because that's the channel most boats are listening to. The advice to narrowboats is to use 14 rather than 16.

My experience on the Ribble Link is the same. Preston Docks Harbourmaster monitors CH 14. The nearest Coastguard station is Holyhead on Anglesey which has relay masts at Liverpool Bay and on the Fylde Coast, however, Savick Brook is in the shadow of both of them.

Tarleton Lock on the River Douglas (L & L Rufford Branch) is supposed to monitor CH 74 around high tide but I've never heard a squeak on CH 74 in the area.

 

1 hour ago, umpire111 said:

Ok....bit confused re the radio issue. Do I need to go on a course and get a licence before I can get onto the tidal Thames.have been on many tidal sections of other rivers and used my handheld without any questions or issues. A yes or no reply would be appreciated.

To be legal, the answer is 'yes'. I would go ahead and do the course anyway. You'll learn a lot more than how to press the PTT button ! 

  • Greenie 1

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2 hours ago, umpire111 said:

Ok....bit confused re the radio issue. Do I need to go on a course and get a licence before I can get onto the tidal Thames.have been on many tidal sections of other rivers and used my handheld without any questions or issues. A yes or no reply would be appreciated.

PLA regulations, Page 14

http://www.pla.co.uk/assets/generaldirectionsfornavigation2016.pdf

 

5)

On every vessel to which this Direction applies, at all times when underway or at anchor there must be:

a) an operational VHF radio capable of communicating with a Harbourmaster at the VTS Centres; 

B) an effective, continuous listening watch maintained on the VHF channel appropriate to that part of the Thames in which it is navigating or lying;

c) compliance with the communications requirements set out in these Directions for the use of VHF radio; and

d) manning and operation of the VHF radio by a suitably qualified person, capable of communicating effectively in English.

Tim

Edited by Tim Lewis

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1 hour ago, Tim Lewis said:

PLA regulations, Page 14

http://www.pla.co.uk/assets/generaldirectionsfornavigation2016.pdf

 

5)

On every vessel to which this Direction applies, at all times when underway or at anchor there must be:

a) an operational VHF radio capable of communicating with a Harbourmaster at the VTS Centres; 

B) an effective, continuous listening watch maintained on the VHF channel appropriate to that part of the Thames in which it is navigating or lying;

c) compliance with the communications requirements set out in these Directions for the use of VHF radio; and

d) manning and operation of the VHF radio by a suitably qualified person, capable of communicating effectively in English.

Tim

Nothing about going on a course, being licensed etc, thanks

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20 minutes ago, umpire111 said:

Nothing about going on a course, being licensed etc, thanks

d) manning and operation of the VHF radio by a suitably qualified person, capable of communicating effectively in English. 

Edited by Aguila

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17 minutes ago, Aguila said:

d) manning and operation of the VHF radio by a suitably qualified person, capable of communicating effectively in English. 

Qualified by experience, thanks

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9 hours ago, Aguila said:

I never said you didn't !  

A VHF SRC is needed before the 'transmit' button is pressed on ANY radio. 

 

Fair enough!

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The PLA Directions say when you need to have and use a VHF radio. 

18 hours ago, umpire111 said:

Qualified by experience, thanks

That phrase ("manning and operation of the VHF radio by a suitably qualified person, capable of communicating effectively in English"). is designed to cover ships registered overseas that are visiting the port. There will be a mutual recognition of qualifications for operators and for installations.  

For example
http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/legal/Web Documents/Legal Leaflets/Clubs/Laws and Regulations/VHF RADIO REGULATIONS.pdf

The PLA Directions specify when you have to have a radio on board. On many waterways (eg the open sea on a small boat) there's no requirement to carry one at all.  The Ofcom licences set out what you need to do if you want to use a radio. 

That said, it sounds as though your experience will indeed be suffcient!

 

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Before going onto tidal waters in my safety brief I make all the crew aware of how to use the VHF and how to raise a MAYDAY. Because the trained, licence holding individual might have collapsed or gone over the side.

That's just good practice for any skipper.

  • Greenie 1

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