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- V8V2222 -
HF/SSB radio services


WORLDWIDE Group Call Network

Worldwide mutual support for marine recreation vessels using DSC Group Calling.


This strategy for DSC Group Calling amongst recreational vessels in a NAVAREA region utilises the DSC capabilities of modern marine radios - VHF and HF/SSB - to create a quick response mutual support network.

Group Calling is an established and recommended function of modern DSC capable VHF and HF/SSB marine radios. Group participants simply enter the group call ID into the storage area of their radio. The radio then maintains a constant receive watch for that Group ID. Radios can monitor for multiple group IDs; some up to 100. This allows groups of boats - eg: boat club members, fishing competition participants, yacht race or rally participants, cruising support group, charter yacht fleets, dive or surf charter boats etc - to make immediate DSC initiated contact with any radios in their group which are switched on and in range of the frequency used to initiate the call.

This Worldwide Group Call Network is designed to initiate DSC contact with what could be all/any recreational vessels (known or unknown) in range for Non-Distress purposes; if all boats have a DSC capable VHF and/or HF/SSB radio with the local NAVAREA Group Call ID entered and the radio switched on. In HF/SSB radios this system utilises the General Calling function built into these DSC radios to more reliably (than voice call) alert nearby vessels to ask for advice, local information, or assistance. It will work for cruising vessels crossing oceans, exploring island chains or unfamiliar coastlines and it also works for locally based private and marine tourism vessels when either visiting or local boat crews need to contact a vessel nearby - either an unknown local based vessel or another unknown cruiser - to get advice or assistance.

It creates the widest range/most boats DSC Group Call in a tiered DSC Calling system.  For example, a boat in an event/race/rally needing advice/assistance might first make an Individual  DSC call to a specific boat or to the event/race/rally control using their individual DSC IDs. If that does not get a suitable response, then DSC call the Group Call DSC ID of their event boats (perhaps 10 to 100 boats). If that does not get a useful response, then try a bigger/broader group such as the Group Call DSC ID of all the boats in their club (perhaps 100 to 300 possible boats) which might be nearby. If that is unsuccessful, send a NAVAREA Group ID call; which should alert any similarly equipped nearby boats (perhaps many hundreds of possible boats) in range. 

A NAVAREA Group Call is not a Distress call. But timely support, advice, spare parts, fuel or a tow, from another nearby mariner could prevent a problem situation, or stop a problem growing into a Distress situation. A DSC Distress call will alert ALL similar marine radios - commercial, recreational, oil and gas platform, man-of-war, ferry, tugs etc - in range with their radios turned on.

This Worldwide Group Call Network is based on the world's NAVAREA regions.  These existing 21 worldwide maritime regions are used to define S&R responsibility areas, and also define the responsibility areas for creating METAREA forecasts and MSI (Maritime Safety Information) warnings (eg: drifting logs, abandoned vessels, seismic vessel with 5nm long cable, etc)

See this map of NAVAREAs of the world:   

https://www.iho.int/mtg_docs/com_wg/CPRNW/CPRNW_Misc/RNW_on_the_web.htm

See this website for METAREA forecasts of the world:

http://weather.gmdss.org/metareas.html

See this website page for links to MSI (Maritime Safety Information) warnings:

http://weather.gmdss.org/navareas.html 

METAREA forecasts are the important open sea weather and weather warning predictions prepared by a human - not solely a machine - by examining and interpreting the information collected and presented by machines. METAREA forecasts are available for free download - via HF/SSB radio email - by members of the not-for-profit SailMail Association.

MSI warnings are updated daily to provide mariners with safety related information such as navigation lights not working, abandoned vessels,  logs or containers fallen off ships in bad weather, military firing exercises or other hazards to navigation, including cable laying or survey ships towing 5nm cables.

An effective instant communications and prompt mutual support network is created in a NAVAREA by all recreational vessels in that region entering that region's Group Call ID (see below) in their radio/s, and maintaining their DSC capable VHF and/or HF/SSB radios in constant (silent) watch (VHF turned on, HF/SSB in DSC Watch Mode) when on-board. All vessels - regardless of their other Group Call IDs - eg: club, race or rally, fishing contest, dive boat or charter fleet etc - will go into an alert state when they receive the NAVAREA Group Call ID.

For example, boats coastal cruising or island hopping can use the NAVAREA Group Call ID to DSC call any nearby boats and then ask by voice for local boats which can help with information on fuel supplies, check-in procedures, waypoints to get into anchorages, etc. And boats at sea can contact any others nearby using the NAVAREA Group Call ID to warn them of hazards (shipping containers, abandoned vessels etc), or request advice with a engine breakdown, a tow, spare part, fuel, dinner recipe etc. This works for VHF and HF/SSB marine radios.

This 9 digit NAVAREA Group Call ID format is:

Digit 1            - 0 - the first number for Group Call IDs is always zero
Digit 2, 3 & 4 - the country identity (MID) for the nation with
                        S&R, METAREA & MSI responsibility for that NAVAREA
Digit 5 &6      - the NAVAREA number - eg 02  or 12 or 21
Digit 7 to 9    - 0 (zero) in all three 
 

The 9 digit NAVAREA Group Call ID for all 21 NAVAREAs are:

NAVAREA

NAVAREA Co-ordinator

NAVAREA Group Call ID

  1 - I UK Waiting for Assignment
  2 - II France 022802000
  3 - III Spain 022503000
  4 - IV USA (east) 036904000
  5 - V Brazil 071005000
  6 - VI Argentina 070106000
  7 - VII South Africa 060107000
  8 - VIII India 041908000
  9 - IX Pakistan 046309000
10 - X Australia 050310000
11 - XI Japan 043211000
12 - XII USA (west) 036912000
13- XIII Russia 027313000
14 - XIV New Zealand 051214000
15 - XV Chile 072515000
16 - XVI Peru/USA 076016000
17 - XVII Canada (NW) 031617000
18 - XVIII Canada (NE) 031618000
19 - XIX Norway 025919000
20 - XX Russia (NW) 027320000
21 - XXI Russia (NE) 027321000

NOTES:

1. The NAVAREA Group Call ID for NAVAREA 1 is not yet available. In the UK, group IDs are managed/assigned so this process must first be completed.

2. There are some very large NAVAREAs. But calls to the NAVAREA Group Call ID from VHF radios will only go as far as VHF radio range (perhaps 30nm) and on HF/SSB, crews seeking nearby advice/assistance will logically limit the range of their calls to the 2 or 4 Meg General calling frequencies. These realities will prevent NAVAREA Group Calls  unnecessarily disturbing crews a long distance away in the same NAVAREA.  

3. Group calls are not used for Distress calls. The separate DSC Distress call function (in HF/SSB and VHF radios) creates an All-Call that alerts all similar (DSC capable) marine radios in all vessels - recreation and commercial - within range and switched on, regardless of any Group Call  IDs they have entered into their radios.  It will also alert the official MRCC shore radio station.

4. By maintaining a 24/7 DSC watch on VHF and/or HF/SSB radios (VHF turned on, HF/SSB in DSC Watch Mode), recreational boat crews can easily create a quick response, mutual support network of nearby vessels (known and unknown). Using radio, there is no call-cost to communicate to assist each other. Using radio, contacting dozens or hundreds of boats in range requires sending only one DSC Group Call. The unique broadcast feature of marine radio overcomes the need to make dozens of satphone or mobile phone (if close to the coast) calls to find a known contact who happens to be in their boat and also nearby. One DSC Group Call finds all similarly equipped boats - known and unknown - monitoring for the same Group Call ID, within range of the frequency. 

5. With their radios turned on, recreational boats and their crew also become valuable and accessible S&R resources for MRCCs or any other vessel in distress to contact using a DSC Distress Call.  (VHF and HF/SSB DSC radios automatically monitor for DSC Distress calls when switched on.) Rough weather is not the sole reason vessels sink. Fire, impact with floating objects, hitting the bottom, overloading or shifting cargo are also common causes. The Titanic sank in calm seas. A nearby yacht rally or race fleet, or powerboats in a fishing contest, could save a lot of people in a modern day Titanic incident; if their radios are switched on to receive the DSC initiated Distress Call about the problem. When SY Chiki Rafiki inverted in the Atlantic in 2014, the US Coast Guard was DSC and voice calling for vessels nearby to go to the location of the PLB in the water. Apparently, no other nearby recreational vessels - private yachts or marine tourism -  had their radios switched on. 

The Worldwide Group Call Network:

1. Is made possible by the Group Call feature built into modern marine HF/SSB and VHF radios. DSC capable radios facilitate silent radio watch-keeping and active (noisy) alarms to alert the crew when an Individual, Group or Distress  DSC call is received. DSC capable radios  - silently - do the work of monitoring for calls, 24/7.  There is no need for crews to listen to a noisy radio speaker.

2. Is based on the advice of MRCC Australia to first seek assistance from nearby vessels by radio communications. Most of Australia's coastline is sparsely populated and has no shore based support services, Australia's NAVAREA 10 has low commercial shipping density and no S&R resources permanently deployed at sea. This is similar to most of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. And yachts tend to avoid commercial shipping routes to avoid the risk of collision. Hence  the advice to seek assistance from other nearby vessels means  principally other yachts and marine tourism vessels. Ocean crossings and popular - pristine, undeveloped, low-cost, isolated - cruising areas  are commonly characterised by a lack of shore based support services, or quick response S&R capabilities. Experience from incidents in isolated areas, or any area without 24/7 quick response (shore-based) S&R resources, results in the repeated advice from MRCCs and yacht racing organisations that when beyond the range of quick response shore support services, other nearby vessels are likely to provide the quickest response to requests for advice or assistance that could prevent an emergency, or to respond to a Distress situation. Yacht crews need other yacht crews. DSC calling using the broadcast feature of marine radio is the quick way to contact them all.      

3. Follows the recommendation of MRCC Australia about creating your own Group Call IDs. These can be used to link together - long or short term - groups of cruising yachts, club members' powerboats, fishing competition boats, charter yachts, tourist boats or yacht race and rally fleets, via their DSC capable radios. A Group Call - on VHF or HF/SSB - can bring all group members together for a voice sked or weather broadcast/alert, to advise of a hazard - such as a semi-submerged container or floating logs - or for one member to request support - fuel, spare part, advice, water, tow -  from any of the other group members monitoring  the same Group Call ID.

4. Is based on maintaining radios - HF/SSB and/or VHF - in a 24/7 (silent) watch whenever on-board; underway or at anchor.  Simply by keeping radios switched on in DSC watch (ie: VHF turned on, HF/SSB in DSC Watch Mode) creates a no-effort, quick access support network of recreational mariners. So you can contact any (known or unknown) nearby boats for advice or assistance 24/7.  And any other nearby crews needing advice or assistance can also contact you. We are all floating on the same sea and none of us have gills or fins. Making ourselves accessible - via marine radio - could make a big difference to another family, fishing trawler crew, cruise ship, ferry or live-aboard dive/surf charter passenger, or merchant ship crew. A lot can happen between planned voice skeds amongst a group of boats, and for any other mariner who does not know your sked or frequencies or your satphone number. 

DSC radios in standby watch (VHF turned on, HF/SSB in DSC Watch Mode) are contactable by any other mariner in range with a similar radio using a DSC Distress Call.  A DSC Distress call alerts ALL similar radios in range. A NAVAREA DSC Group Call will alert all other similar radios within range that have stored the same (present location) NAVAREA Group ID in the radio. BUT ONLY WHEN THE RADIOS ARE SWITCHED ON. These radios normally draw less current than lights or refrigeration, so they are not a prohibitive battery drain.

If your radio/s are turned off your vessel and crew are no longer contactable by an MRCC looking for a boat to respond to a nearby EPIRB or PLB alert, your friends in the next coastal or island anchorage who's boat is on fire, another yacht race/rally boat 30nm behind you, the dive boat returning from an offshore dive in an unexpected squall, a cruising yacht crew trying to find their way into the anchorage, or the MOB or lost scuba diver or canoeists trying to get your attention using their LifeLine mini VHF radio. Turning off the radio is worse then cutting the phone line in your house. With a house phone, mobile phone or satphone  people must first know the number to call. With marine radio, absolutely any other mariner or MRCC can reach you with a DSC Distress call; they do not need to know your number. 

5. Combines the recommendations, technical skills and experience from a number of sources to create an effective mutual support network:

MRCC Australia -  with responsibility for and experience managing S&R in one of the largest, least populated and low resourced coastal and ocean regions in the world, says:

"In the event of an emergency, communication should first be attempted with others close by using radios"

And, "While satellites and satellite-compatible distress beacons have significantly improved the effectiveness of SAR operations, the system is NOT a substitute for carrying appropriate marine or aviation radio."

Because "Even once a (EPIRB) position is obtained, response times then depend on the time for a search and rescue (SAR) unit, such as a helicopter, aircraft or ground party to be readied and transit to the search area. The more remote the location of the distress incident, the longer the response time. In all instances, be prepared to survive."

Therefore, "Depending on the circumstances, your initial distress alert should still be made by radio if possible. You should activate your distress beacon only if contact cannot be made by any other means or when told to do so by a rescue authority." Because the distances are great and the EPIRB battery could expire before an official response S&R vessel/plane can reach the location. 

As confirmed by numerous incidents  in different parts of the world, these words from MRCC Australia highlight the reality of S&R capabilities in 90% of the world's sea areas, including the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and anywhere beyond the range of shore based, quick response S&R services. This means anywhere in the world when more than approx 100nm offshore. Therefore, in 90% of waters, mariners need other nearby mariners, and they need a means to contact each other, without knowing satphone, cellphone or individual MMSI numbers. A DSC Distress call (an ALL- Call) does that for Distress situations. A NAVAREA Group Call can do that for non Distress/Urgency situations.

MRCC Australia advises the same method for creating regular Group Call IDs (for fishing clubs, yacht race/rally participants, yacht club members, charter fleet boats etc) as described by Terry Sparks. See MRCC Australia's webpage:

http://www.amsa.gov.au/search-and-rescue/distress-and-safety-comms/mmsi/ (scroll down the page)

Terry Sparks http://www.made-simplefor-cruisers.com/  

Terry's amendments (also used by Bob Smith at Yachtcom in the UK, see:  www.yachtcom.co.uk and BRUNEI BAY RADIO) to the pre-programmed DSC calling frequencies and scan routine of the General Receiver in ICOM M801(E) and ICOM M802(DSC) HF/SSB radios dramatically improves vessel-to-vessel DSC calling capabilities for General Individual or Group calling to initiate skeds, ask for a dinner recipe, request technical advice, obtain waypoints and anchorage details, advise of hazards (shipping containers, logs etc) or any of the myriad topics that arise amongst a group of yachts crossing oceans, exploring island chains or hopping along a coastline.

The more that yacht crews utilise their DSC capable HF/SSB and VHF radios for General calling - asking advice and all the other routine, domestic and boat operation communication - the more confident and effective will be their use of this critical communications resource in the event of a problem. Either if asking for help, or responding to a call for help from another mariner, or an MRCC.

Here are Terry's DSC frequency/scan amendments for the General Receiver

Here is Terry's schematic of the completed amendments

Here is Terry's schematic of what DSC call to make

NOTE: The default General receiver/transmitter frequency/scan setup in most modern marine DSC capable HF/SSB radios blocks boat-to-boat DSC calling by its use of duplex DSC calling channels. This default setup only permits boats to contact coast stations 4, 6, 8, 12 and 16 Meg General DSC calling frequencies. (It does allow boat-to-boat DSC calling on the simplex 2Meg MF frequency. But this frequency is largely unusable in low latitudes - 20N to 20S, and it's service range is limited, especially in daylight hours.)

It is therefore essential to make Terry's amendments to the default frequency/scan setup in DSC capable HF/SSB radios, so boat crews can DSC call other boat crews on the longer distance/quieter DSC General Calling frequencies to have no-cost voice communication for skeds, mutual support, recipes, spare parts, anchorage details, marina entrance waypoints, spare fuel, advice etc.

Without making these frequency changes, the radio is very effectively hobbled. Reliable DSC Individual or Group calling from boat-to-boat (when beyond 2 Meg MF range and/or in equatorial latitudes) using the General Receiver/transmitter cannot possibly work using the HF/SSB radio's default setup with duplex DSC calling.  Terry's amendments change DSC calling to simplex on the 4, 6, 8, 12 & 16 Meg calling frequencies, thereby making longer distance and low latitude boat-to-boat and boat-to-coast station DSC calling possible. 

This change allows the modern marine HF/SSB radio with DSC to work for General communications as a radio buyer, boat owner and crew could reasonably expect. The vastly improved functionality provided by DSC calling - ie: quiet radios, 24/7 standby, low power consumption, reliable calling - adds to the existing voice communication capability of modern marine HF/SSB radios, to reliably link mariners together. So mariners can seek advice, information or assistance from other nearby mariners - in big or small vessels - like marine HF/SSB radio comms has always done since the Titanic sank, and up until the arrival of GMDSS and INMARSAT comms for big ships.

Blocking vessel-to-vessel DSC General Calling on modern HF/SSB marine radios forced many people - on big and small vessels - into expensive satellite comms. Using Terry's amended frequency and scanning plan overcomes this hobbling of the General receiver/transmitter in DSC capable HF/SSB radios. It gives back to mariners the ability to contact each other directly (for non-Distress purposes), without using a satellite carrier, for no call cost. This can save a lot of money compared to satellite call costs to friends on other vessels and on overall vessel operations, such as by a NAVAREA Group Call to contact local area boat crews for information and advice, or by Individual DSC calls to a vessel's unique MMSI number.

Mariners helping other mariners is what MRCC Australia recommends when operating beyond the range of quick response, nearby, land based support and S&R resources. Which in reality means anywhere in the world beyond the range of the 24/7 professional support and S&R services found almost exclusively around the coasts of UK/Europe and North America, and for about 100nm to sea. This means all of the world's oceans, along with most popular island chains and isolated coasts. It is especially relevant for yachts on ocean passages, long distance races/rallies and when enjoying the popular, low-cost, uncongested, less-developed, cruising, race or rally destinations and recreational boating regions. Very few countries - including South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, with the largest combined maritime responsibility area in the world - have the money to provide quick response S&R resources throughout their S&R responsibility areas. Mariners need other nearby mariners. Marine radio is the way to reach all of them, simultaneously, with just one button press.

NOTE: When INMARSAT became compulsory for vessels over 300 tons, the considerably improved - DSC capable - HF/SSB radio functionality developed for GMDSS operations was hobbled by choosing duplex DSC calling for General Communications on the 4, 6, 8, 12 & 16 Meg DSC calling channels. This made the radios useless for (no-cost) routine vessel-to-vessel DSC calling on these frequencies. Even big ships - which were compelled to fit INMARSAT equipment for their telephone interconnect traffic - were therefore forced to use their INMARSAT equipment for (high-cost) vessel to vessel communications beyond VHF range; rather than no-cost HF/SSB radio communications. Small-craft with a standard General receiver/transmitter setup were similarly forced to buy a satphone and pay expensive call costs. Everyone lost the traditional benefit of broadcast calling to any nearby vessels to request advice, some fuel, medical assistance, or to run a sked. 

Hundreds of coast stations around the world - which had provided free-to-air voice broadcasts of weather and maritime safety information warnings for large and small vessels - were forced to close, because their telephone interconnect traffic via HF/SSB radio with big ships was re-routed via satellite solely to INMARSAT; along with all the income. Big ships and yachts previously dispersed their expenditure on telephone interconnect services to hundreds of radio stations and coastal communities around the world. With the arrival of GMDSS/INMARSAT, the entire world's telephone traffic income from cruise liners, man-of-war, merchant ships, tankers, container ships etc, larger than 300 tonnes, was transferred solely to INMARSAT. Regional coast stations around the world closed due to a lack of funds, and their free-to-air broadcasts of weather and MSI information on HF/SSB radio stopped. So did access to the radio operators' local knowledge, advice, position reporting, message forwarding, medical services information, anchorage and waypoint info. 

In this region, the closures included all of Australia's coast stations and Singapore Radio. There was a similar result elsewhere in the world, including in the UK (no more HF/SSB coast stations) and Europe, along with numerous smaller coast radio stations in island nations and less developed countries previously funded by telephone interconnect traffic. By this method, DSC capable HF/SSB radio functionality was further hobbled; because DSC calling on the (default duplex) General calling frequencies to non-existent coast stations does not get a response either.   

On the positive side, with big ships compelled to use INMARSAT for telephone and ship-to ship communications, the marine HF radio frequencies became far less congested, and therefore more available for low-power, small-craft, radio communications. BUT THIS CAN ONLY BE EFFECTIVELY UTILISED IF THE FREQUENCY/SCAN AMENDMENTS ARE MADE TO THE DEFAULT SETTINGS IN THE GENERAL RECEIVER/TRANSMITTER OF DSC CAPABLE MARINE HF/SSB RADIOS. SO BOAT CREWS CAN DSC CALL OTHER BOAT CREWS ON THE 4, 6, 8, 12 & 16 MEG GENERAL COMMUNICATIONS DSC CALLING FREQUENCIES.

Making these changes saves recreational vessel owners a small fortune in satellite communication charges and gives back to small-craft crews the ability to talk directly with each other, for no-cost, via HF/SSB radio, with the significant added reliability and convenience of DSC operation; including silent, 24/7, Individual and Group DSC calling. So mutual support communication networks can be created and operated effectively.

Small-craft crews can also regain access to information previously distributed free-to-air by coastal radio station HF/SSB voice broadcasts by joining the not-for-profit SailMail Association (www.sailmail.com). Via its worldwide network of over 20 HF/SSB radio email stations, SailMail Association members request/receive emailed versions of METAREA forecasts and GRIB weather charts for no additional cost, along with free position reporting, Typhoon 2000 warnings (for Philippines Typhoon responsibility area) and other no-cost services. SailMail provides small-craft crews with the ability to monitor shore email addresses, order spare parts, arrange marina bookings, and communicate with shore-based race and rally organisers, family etc. SailMail Association membership helps minimise the cost of small-craft communications and safe vessel management using the same on-board marine HF/SSB radio that underpins the NAVAREA Group Call Network for recreational boating. 

The International Telecommunications Union - manages radio frequency co-ordination for the world. Here is the official document I received from the ITU seeking input on the different methods for re-instating boat to boat General calling on marine DSC HF/SSB radios; including Terry Sparks' system. The ITU officially recognises the importance of effective boat to boat DSC calling and the need to correct the pre-programmed General Communications calling system in HF/SSB radios which in default GMDSS condition, blocks boat-to-boat DSC calling on the 4, 6, 8, 12 & 16 Meg calling frequencies, and only permits boat-to-(mostly non-existent) coast station calling. 

The initial concept of DSC calling was focussed on vessel-to-shore communications but for the reasons above, this does not work, and in isolated coasts, island chains, or large ocean regions, is not effective for problem solving. Vessel-to-vessel communications has proven to be more effective;
especially when operating without HF/SSB coast stations and beyond quick response shore based support and S&R services (ie most of the world). Prompt advice or help from other nearby mariners is important to obtain timely assistance and prevent Distress situations.

Modern marine DSC radios broadcast their Distress DSC call to all vessels in range simultaneously, without using  a Group Call, and without knowing what vessels are nearby and without dialling a few hundred satphone numbers (if you know their numbers) to check who is around.  Once Terry's amendments to the default General calling frequency/scan plan are entered in modern HF/SSB radios, General DSC Group Calls can also be simultaneously broadcast to reach all vessels in range with a similarly amended frequency/scan plan.

Note: On modern marine VHF radios with DSC, General DSC calling - Individual and Group -  already functions correctly using simplex to permit both boat-to-boat and boat-to-coast station DSC calls; no amendment is necessary.

SY Exody - crossed the Indian Ocean in 2015 with a group of principally UK/Europe and North American yachts which were mostly equipped with DSC capable HF/SSB radios, but they had never got them functioning effectively to create a mutual support network; despite being together across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Via a series of SailMail emails between myself and SY Exody skipper - Peter Jennett - while he was on passage from Cocos to Reunion, Peter progressively got the fleet making the frequency/scan changes to their radios, in some cases fabricating/connecting a simple Distress antenna for the separate Distress Receiver in their HF/SSB radios, entering a Group Call ID, and initiating a 24/7 DSC watch for Individual, Group or Distress calls. So the crews had no-cost, immediately available, contact and voice communications with the other  yachts in their rally group for General or Distress communications. (And other yachts - or any other mariner or MRCC - could also contact them for support or emergency assistance using a DSC Distress call.)

Here is Peter's report.  It contains lessens and advice for all recreational boat crews; private vessels and marine tourism. With explanatory notes and information from Allan and Terry.

This NAVAREA Group Call ID and the Worldwide Group Call Network it creates  is designed to extend prompt response access to any nearby recreation and marine tourism vessels; in addition to those in your immediate support group - be it a rally, club, dive operator, charter yacht fleet etc.

Because every boat's crew can be a helpful and now conveniently contactable resource in the modern maritime safety network; to help other recreational vessel crews and all other mariners. The DSC capable VHF and/or HF/SSB radio (VHF turned on, HF/SSB in DSC Watch Mode) does the work of monitoring for General (Individual or Group) or Distress calls, quietly, without disturbing the crew, beautiful anchorage or ocean sunset. If a call is received - either from another nearby vessel or an MRCC - the radio alerts you. There is no longer any need for crews to listen to the noise of an open radio speaker 24/7 for voice calls.  And no longer a reason for crews to turn off their radios because of the intrusive speaker noise. DSC calling allows the radio do the work of monitoring for calls; silently. It's great!

 

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