Channel 16 VHF Marine

In marine band broadcasting, channel 16 is dedicated to rescue broadcasts to the coastguard or other nearby vessels.

Channel 16 operation

Canale 16 VHF Marino n.1

Marine VHF channel 16 is used to make a distress or emergency call and should not be used for any other type of communication.

Before transmitting you must have been listening in advance on this channel, to ensure that there are no other active transmissions and in any case the transmission must be short (less than a minute), so the communication can continue on another channel, normally suggested by the coast guard.

In addition, in the first three minutes of every half hour, radio silence must be maintained on this channel, which serves to give priority to emergency communications, freeing the channel from any disturbance transmissions.

Report on channel 16

It is possible to report 3 different types of emergencies and the distress message must start with its distinctive word repeated three times:

  • Distress message, when you are in a situation of real danger to human life. Using Mayday (pronounced "medé")
  • Urgent message, when a situation of danger for the vessel or its crew has to be urgently reported. Using Pan
  • Safety message, if there is a danger to navigation. Using Securitè

After the signaling of the type of emergency, the distinctive data of the vessel must be communicated, such as the name of the vessel or the Call Sign repeated 3 times, preceded by the word "here". So the geographical coordinates, the nature of the danger, specify the type of aid required and any other information that may facilitate the rescue.

For example:
Mayday mayday mayday
Qui Titanic, Titanic, Titanic
Position 42°20' north 011°57' east
Hull failure causes immediate assistance required

If no response is received, this message must be repeated from the beginning.