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In a boating emergency
Radio for help on
Channel 16 on VHF
(distress and calling channel)
Channel 88 (27.880 MHz)
on a 27 MHz radio
Call MRNSW on
|Weather Warnings for New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory - marine areas. Issued by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology|
|Current weather warnings for New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory, Australia including strong wind, gale, storm force and hurricane force wind warnings; tsunami; damaging waves; abnormally high tides; and tropical cyclones.|
Marine RadiosMarine Rescue NSW provides continuous radio coverage along the NSW coastline from Point Danger in the North to Eden in the South.
We have 45 radio bases, many of which operate 24/7.Our volunteer radio operators provide the recreational boating community with many services and a great deal of information, including:
The vast majority of radio callers to Marine Rescue units are engaged in local and short coastal boating activities. The radios they most frequently use are VHF and, to a decreasing extent, 27MHz. MF/HF radios are generally used on vessels making long offshore coastal or ocean voyages and commercial shipping.
Marine radios and range
VHF: A VHF set is recommended for better range and better quality communication. Effective range: up to 20 nm, maybe further depending on conditions and if using land-based repeaters. VHF with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and GPS connectivity functions provide extra safety and convenience.
27MHz: Inexpensive, basic entry level marine radios. Effective range: 10-15 nautical miles, usually limited to “line of sight”. Spending a few dollars more will get you a VHF set and better functionality.
MF/HF: With prices from around $4,000 installed, these are more costly but essential for serious coastal and overseas cruising. Effective range: up to 200 nm for “local” communications, considerably further depending on conditions, antennas and frequencies used.
Primary marine radio frequencies used and monitored by Marine Rescue NSW:
Do you need a Marine Radio Licence?
VHF: You do not need any qualifications to own and fit this type of radio to your vessel, but a VHF user must have a Marine Radio Operator’s VHF Certificate of Proficiency (MROVCP) or the slightly more advanced Marine Radio Operators certificate of Proficiency (MROCP) covering Medium and High Frequency Radios. See Radio courses.
27MHz: You do not need any qualifications or licence to own, fit or use this type of radio. A short training session from a Marine Rescue unit will teach you the basic protocols of using a marine radio and how to get the most value from one – especially in an emergency.
MF/HF : If you own an MF/HF set, you must have a licence to own and fit it to your vessel and a Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency (MROCP) to operate it. For detailed information, visit the Australian Communication and Media Authority website at www.acma.gov.au and enter ‘Marine Radio Choices and Changes’ in the Search window.