Staying in contact on the water

In a boating emergency, you will need to know who to contact, and how.

The best way to ensure that is to know the rules and regulations around using a maritime VHF radio.

Any person operating a maritime VHF radio must hold, as a minimum requirement, a Marine VHF Radio Operator Certificate, unless transmitting in an emergency.

Correct use and knowledge of marine radios can be a lifesaver.

Coastguard’s volunteer radio operators are not only ready and waiting 24/7 for your trip report but also provide weather forecasts, safety information and you can also use your radio to communicate between boats.

Tauranga Coastguard is offering a course over two nights covering subjects such as the general features and functions of a maritime VHF radio, correct distress and urgency procedures for ‘Mayday’ and ‘Pan Pan’ calls, pro-words and phonetic alphabet, trip reports, weather services, call signs, EPIRBS and other search and rescue equipment.

The second night includes a short test which will enable participants to earn an internationally-recognised Marine VHF Radio Operator Certificate.

The first course will start at 7pm on May 16-17 and will run bi-monthly until the end of the year.

Cost $70. For more information or to register phone: 07 578 5579 or visit: