Calling for help in an emergency

The following transcript can also be downloaded here

If you need to call for help in an emergency on the water, firstly make sure everyone on your vessel is wearing a life jacket.

If you have mobile coverage, you can call 000 directly.

If you are deaf and/or find it hard hearing or speaking, you can use the National Relay Service (NRS).

The best way to contact emergency services is via the NRS app.

Firstly, register to use the NRS.

When you open the NRS app; it has a button for you to ‘Call 000’. Your call will be given priority.

You’ll have a choice of Chat, Captions, Voice Relay or Video Relay (Auslan)

The Relay Officer will connect you to the emergency services and relay your call.

All call channels are available 24/7; except the video relay service, which is available Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm.

You can also use the National Relay Service – SMS Relay.

Send a SMS text message to 0423 677 767.

Include in the message to call ‘000’ and PPP (Police), FFF (Fire) or AAA (Ambulance).

If there is no mobile reception, there are several other options to call for help.

Consider carrying a satellite phone and using SMS Relay to request help.

You can use a VHF radio with Digital Select Calling (DSC).

Once you’ve entered your vessel details and connected the radio to a GPS, in an emergency you need only press a single distress alert button to let nearby boats and the emergency services know you are having an emergency and your location.

If there’s a hearing person on board, they can use the radio to call for help on VHF Channel 16.

In an emergency you can set off your Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

A Personal Locator Beacon can also be carried and activated as a back-up.

Finally, you can set off a flare, or deploy a V-sheet to signal to nearby boaters or emergency services that you need help.