Marine radio

Distress frequencies and calls

Marine radio transceiver Distress frequency
 MF/HF 2182, 4125, 6215 and 8291 kHz
Note: the Coast Stations operated by the States and the NT do not monitor 2,182kHz however volunteers may.
 VHF Channel 16 with Channel 67 as a supplementary
 27 MHz  27.88 MHz (Channel 88) with
27.86 MHz (Channel 86) as a supplementary

Distress call

The distress call should only be used if your vessel is threatened by grave and imminent danger and you are requesting immediate assistance.

It has absolute priority over all other transmissions and may only be transmitted on the authority of the skipper or the person responsible for the safety of your vessel.

Repeat the distress call as often as necessary until you receive an answer. If no answer is received on distress frequencies, you may repeat the call on any frequency where you believe you might attract attention.

Do not use the distress call in situations where an individual person aboard your vessel is threatened with immediate danger, such as a medical emergency. You should make an urgency call in these cases.

What to say

Mayday
Mayday
Mayday


'This is (name and radio call sign of vessel in distress)' spoken three times.'

Mayday

Give this information:

  • details of vessel's position
  • nature of distress and assistance required
  • other information including number of persons on board.

Safety call

The safety call should be used if you wish to broadcast an important navigational warning to other stations.

An example of when the safety call should be used is if you have sighted a large floating object that could damage the hull of a vessel.

You may make the initial safety call to all stations on a distress frequency.

However, a safety call is more likely to be made by a coast station or a limited coast station operated by a marine rescue association.

A safety call may include important weather warnings such as severe thunderstorm or gale warnings.

Say cure-e-tay
say cure-e-tay
say cure-e-tay

Hello all stations
Hello all stations
Hello all stations

'This is (name and radio call sign of vessel or shore station)' spoken three times.

Announce change to working frequency and change channels.

What to say

say cure-e-tay
say cure-e-tay
say cure-e-tay

Hello all stations
(spoken once)

'This is (name and radio call sign)' spoken once.

Give details of the warning.

Urgency call

The urgency call should only be used when you cannot justify use of the distress call but have a very urgent message.

The urgency call is used to transmit a message concerning the safety of your vessel or the safety of a person on board.

You may make an urgency call on a distress frequency or any other frequency on which you believe attention might be attracted.

Only make an urgency call on the authority of the skipper or person responsible for the safety of your vessel.

What to say

Pan pan pan
Pan pan pan

Hello all stations
Hello all stations
Hello all stations

'This is (name and radio call sign of vessel)' spoken three times.

Give these details

  • vessel's position
  • assistance required and other information.

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Page last updated 29 November 2016

Provided by:
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
URL:
http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/boating-and-marine/marine-radio/distress-frequencies-and-calls
Last Updated:
29/11/16
Printed on:
30/03/17
Copyright statement:
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