Whether you are experienced or not, you need to know how to use the VHF device while sailing in Greece, if you want to be completely assured about your safety in a potentially hazardous occasion.
Your marine VHF radio is obviously your only link to the land while sailing and a very important piece of safety equipment, whose use is regulated by local and international law. When used properly, it provides a critical communication link to potential rescuers in an emergency and access to weather forecasts, navigation alerts, and notices to mariners. It can be also used to communicate with passing ships .
Tips on how to use the VHF device while sailing
• VHF radios are not toys. Don’t clog important channels with idle chatter, and never, never make a false Mayday call. You are putting lives at risk, and you can be prosecuted.
• Always monitor channel 16. If you receive a distress call, record it and your position in your log, and be prepared to render assistance if at all possible.
• When sending a message, press the handset’s push-to-talk (PTT) button, and speak slowly and clearly into the microphone. Use the phonetic alphabet to spell out important information, and always confirm a received message.
• Don’t attempt to hail another user while the hailing channel is active. Breaking into an active radio transmission is bad VHF etiquette at best and could possibly interfere with an emergency transmission. When hailing another boat (on channel 9 or 16), establish contact and then quickly switch to an established working channel.
• Never use profanity, always transmit using minimum power, keep conversations as brief as possible, and remember that most VHF calls are audible to any radio in range that is monitoring your channel. So watch what you say; you never know who is listening.
• When you go shopping for a VHF, make sure that it has the proper NMEA connections to allow it to interface easily with your GPS.
• Last but not least, never say “over and out” at the end of a transmission. “Over” means “over to you”; “out” means you are ending the transmission. When you have completed your conversation, just say “out.” Same holds true for “roger, wilco.” Nothing says VHF rookie like “roger, wilco” followed by “over and out.”
Tune to Channel 16 when sailing in Greece
When tuned to channel 16, “Radio Olympia” is the name of the Coast Guard station in Greece. Calling “Radio Olympia” you can ask for weather forecast, medicine support, or a MayDay. To make a call:
1. Press the PTT and say “Radio Olympia” – “Radio Olympia” (up to three times)
2. “This is sail boat “X” (up to three times)
3. “We would like a weather forecast for Saronic golf, Over”
If you have no reply, you call again three minutes later.