Marine Radio
in Tasmania

Standard Operating Procedures

Before Departing

  • Leave a passage plan with a responsible person ashore? (Download a passage plan)
  • Give them the contact details of the marine coastal radio station that you plan to call.
  • Have you checked that your radio equipment is operational?
  • If your radio is equipped with VHF-DSC (Digital Selective Calling), do you have a valid MMSI number?
  • Does your passage plan consider adverse weather?
  • Have you made yourself aware of any navigational hazards?
  • Have you adequate fuel for the passage?
  • If equipped with an EPIRB, have you registered your EPIRB with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority?
  • Do you have the required number visual distress signals onboard such as flares, signaling light, etc?

Routine Calling

When establishing communications by MF/HF radio the initial call should be made in the following manner;

  • the name and/or call sign or other identification of the station being called spoken not more than three times;
  • the words THIS IS; and
  • the name and/or call sign or other identification of the station being called, spoken not more than three times.

This call should immediately followed with the purpose of the call, the working frequency that is suggested for the exchange of messages and the word "OVER" that is an invitation for the other station to respond.

When using a VHF radio the communications can be abbreviated by calling the station once and calling your station name twice. This abbreviation is because transmissions using VHF radios are much clearer than using a MF/HF radio.

If there is no response to your call wait for two minutes then call again. If there is still no response wait a further three minutes before making another call or consider using another frequency where contact might be made.

When the exchange of traffic is concluded end the transmission with the word "OUT".


  • Identify your vessel
  • Speak clearly especially if transmission conditions are poor

Do not:

  • Make reverse calls by announcing your ship's before the called ship's name
  • Use offensive language or language that could cause alarm or offence to others
  • Talk unnecessarily or for long periods as others will be waiting to use the frequency


Updated 25 July 2017. © Copyright. A Douglas 2017