ELECTRONIC
COMMUNICATIONS
& LOGBOOKS
SAR Crew Manual
Chapter 4
Introduction
Radio Watch
• A radio watch must be at all times when an
RCM-SAR vessel is underway.
• Each volunteer shall know the duties of
keeping a radio watch.
Radio Watch Duties 1
• Pre-departure checks of equipment, including
set up of volume and squelch.
• Set up Channel 16 and working channels
• Check of EPIRB, DSC and DMB where fitted
• Ensure portable radios and cell phones start
fully charged
• Monitoring any change in weather reports
• Listen for and react to the spoken word
MAYDAY or PAN PAN
Radio Watch Duties 2
• React to and log all communications relevant
to the mission.
• Relay messages to the coxswain and crew.
• Send a regular Situation Report to Joint
Rescue Coordination Centre
Log Books
Log Keeping
• All RCM-SAR vessels are to keep a deck log
and radio log. Erasures are not allowed, but
are to be deleted by lining thorough and
initialed.
• A running log may be kept in ink whilst out on
the water.
Log Keeping Entries 1
• Entries and time (where appropriate) are to
include:
1. Names of coxswain and crew, and
passengers when carried.
2. All times of departure and arrival and other
relevant important events.
3. Weather, visibility, sea and swell state.
4. Times of passing landmarks
5. Any incidents to own vessel
Log Keeping Entries 2
6. Any abnormal activities sighted and reported.
7. All distress and urgency signals received or
exchanged buy your vessel.
8. All communications sent or received by your
vessel on what channel.
9. Any strange signals or communications or
circumstances monitored.
Logbook Abbreviations 1
16/83A
Adv
Blw.
D.
DMB
F/V
Ht.
L
Abm
Alngsd
CC
Descr.
ETA
Ft.
I/O
Lat.
A/C
Ahd
Ch.16
DF
ETD
GMB
JRCC
Lic.
Abv.
Astn
Coxn
Dft.
F/G
GRT
Kts.
Loc.
Logbook Abbreviations 2
LKP
M/V
O/B
PIW
Rf.
Rx
Std Dn
V/l
Long.
Lt.
MOB
Msg.
O/D
P/C
POB
Pos.
Rk.
RPM
S/V
Sitrep
Super/ Wlhse
VAC
VTS
m
Nm
Pgd
Pt.
RTB
Stbd.
Tx
Wx
Log Keeping
• A log is kept to record all pertinent events in
the vessels operations, and may be used
during legal action. If it is not recorded, it may
be taken as it did not happen.
• Rough logs are also legal documents, as well
as any other notes made at the time.
Information to be Logged 1
1. Time tasked by JRCC
2. Details of information supplied by JRCC
3. Time away from dock
4. Last known position of search object
5. Description of search objects
6. Time on scene
7. Time, position and type of search pattern
8. Weather, visibility, sea and swell
Information to be Logged 2
9. Tide and current
10.Information on distressed vessel
11.Name and address of operator
12.Persons on board
13.Vessel license or registration number
14.Type of assistance supplied
15. Distance towed
16. Disposal of vessels/ persons recovered
Information to be Logged 3
17.Time of stand down
18.Time of return to base.
19.Time able to return to standby (if different to
return to base).
20.JRCC incident number.
Search and Rescue
Communications
SAR Region Boundaries
• Canadian Joint Rescue Centres
1. JRCC Victoria, BC
2. JRCC Halifax, NS
3. JRCC Trenton, ON
4. MRSC Quebec City,QC
5. MRSC St. Johns, NL
SAR Region Boundaries
VHF Communication System
VHF Radios
• All volunteers with the CCGA are expected to
have their Radio Operator’s Certificate.
VHF Radios
Off/ On/ Volume
Transmit
DSC
Frequency Selector
Mode
High/Low Power
Squelch
VHF Radios
• Squelch - adjust the receiver sensitivity and
limits unwanted radio noise. Too high a
squelch will result in weaker signals not being
heard.
• Channel/ Mode - Keep the radio in USA/CDA
mode at all times.
• Simplex channels transmit and receive on
same frequency - duplex send and receive on
different frequencies.
VHF Radios
• Hi/Lo - this control the power with which the
VHF will transmit. High is generally 25W
whilst Low is about 5W.
• Handheld VHFs have a high of about 5W and
a low of about 1W.
VHF Radio Procedures
• Use Channel 16 for calling only, except for
MAYDAY. Monitor at all times.
• Name the station being called x 2, followed
by the calling stations name or call sign x2.
• Always identify yourself when calling.
• Use standard marine language and
vocabulary
VHF Marine Language
Over
Channel
All after
Affirmative
Correction
Seelonce
Out
Roger
Wilco
Say again I say again Standby
Word after All before Word before
Negative That is correct
Read back I spell
Break
Seelonce finis
Phonetic Alphabet
Because it is easy to confuse the sounds of some
letters, when spoken over a radio, their phonetic
equivalent is used instead..
Alfa
Echo
India
Mike
Quebec
Uniform
Bravo
Foxtrot
Juliett
November
Romeo
Victor
Yankee
Charlie
Golf
Kilo
Oscar
Sierra
Whiskey
Zulu
Delta
Hotel
Lima
Papa
Tango
Xray
Search and Rescue
Communications
Pager Codes
00000 Stand down
11111 Information only - coxswain call JRCC
22222 Urgency
33333 Distress
44444 Contact JRCC - the safety of your
vessel is in doubt
Communications
Communications
•
•
•
•
B
A
S
S
Brevity
Accuracy
Speed
Secrecy
Communications 1
• Think before you speak
• Key the microphone for 1 second before
speaking
• Keep messages short and to the point
• Use a working channel - not Channel 16
• Check the channel is clear before speaking
• Keep microphone about 2 inches from the
mouth
Communications 2
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Talk in a calm and clear voice
Do not use offensive language
Preface all distress calls with distress signal
Use proper words and expressions
Spell names phonetically
Say numbers individually
Do not “on air” for prolonged periods
Distress Communications
Distress Communications
• The Global Maritime Distress and Safety
System applies to all vessels of 300 gross
registered tons, or carrying passengers on
international voyages
Distress Communications
• Sea Area A1 Within range of shore-based
VHF DSC coast station (40 nautical miles)
• Sea Area A2 Within range of shore-based MF
DSC coast station (excluding sea areas
A1)(150 nautical miles)
Distress Communications
• Sea Area A3 Within the coverage of an
Inmarsat geostationary satellite
(approximately 70°N to 70°S) (excluding sea
areas A1 & A2)
• Sea Area A4 The remaining areas outside
sea areas A1, A2 & A3 (polar regions)
Distress Communications
Distress Communications
Digital Selective Calling
• Channel 70 on VHF is dedicated to DSC.
• Each DSC has a unique 9 digit number called
a “Maritime Mobile Service Identifier”.
• Canadian vessels start with “316”
EPIRBs, ELTs and SARTs
EPIRBs, ELTs and SARTs
• All Emergency Position Indicating Radio
Beacons (Marine), Emergency Location
Transmitters (Aircraft), and Search and
Rescue Transmitters transmit on either 121.5
or 406MHz
• EPIRBs all have their own unique
identification number.
EPIRBs
• Emergency Position
Indicating Radio Beacons
• Automatic EPIRBs will float
free and be activated by
water
• Manual activation will
require removal from their
brackets and activated.
ELTs
• Emergency Locator
Transmitters are
fitted to aircraft and
also transmit on
406 MHz
Search And Rescue Transponder
• SARTs
Distress Messages
Distress Messages
• Procedure for Channel 16:
1. Transmit an alarm signal.
2. Say “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY”.
3. “This is RCM-SAR 13, RCM-SAR 13, RCMSAR 13”.
4. Give vessel position be latitude/ longitude of
bearing and distance from identifiable point.
5. State the nature of distress and assistance
required.
Distress Messages
6. State number of persons on board, injuries
and other vessels involved.
7. Describe your vessel.
8. Provide any other pertinent information to
assist rescuers.
9. REPEAT, say “Over” and listen
Distress Messages
• Imposition of Silence “SEELONCE MAYDAY”
• Finish of Mayday “MAYDAY FINIS”
• Urgency “PAN, PAN” x3
Distress Messages
• If you are underway and you hear a distress
message and no-one else answers, answer
the vessel, gather and log all information
given, and pass information to Joint Rescue
Coordination Centre or Marine
Communications and Traffic Services.
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