Appendix: Maritime Radio Use in the
VHF Frequency Range
Take a moment to review the following:
Special Channel Assignments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 112
Operating Frequency Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 113
Special Channel Assignments
If you are in imminent and grave danger at sea and require
emergency assistance, use VHF Channel 16 to send a distress
call to nearby vessels and the United States Coast Guard.
Transmit the following information, in this order:
1 "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY."
2 "THIS IS _____________________, CALL SIGN
State the name of the vessel in distress 3 times, followed by
the call sign or other identification of the vessel, stated 3
3 Repeat "MAYDAY" and the name of the vessel.
4 "WE ARE LOCATED AT _______________________."
State the position of the vessel in distress, using any
information that will help responders to locate you, e.g.:
• latitude and longitude
• bearing (state whether you are using true or magnetic
• distance to a well-known landmark
• vessel course, speed or destination
State the nature of the distress.
6 Specify what kind of assistance you need.
7 State the number of persons on board and the number
needing medical attention, if any.
8 Mention any other information that would be helpful to
responders, such as type of vessel, vessel length and/or
tonnage, hull color, etc.
10 Wait for a response.
11 If you do not receive an immediate response, remain by the
radio and repeat the transmission at intervals until you
receive a response. Be prepared to follow any instructions
given to you.
Non-Commercial Call Channel
For non-commercial transmissions, such as fishing reports,
rendezvous arrangements, repair scheduling, or berthing
information, use VHF Channel 9.