If you own or use a VHF marine radio, then it is a legal requirement to have an 'Authority to Operate' license, or to be supervised by someone who does.
The DIRECT ASSESSMENT VHF Short Range Certificate course which includes Digital Selective Calling is a 2 Hour assessment including both a practical and written exam
There are several practical reasons for using a VHF as your primary form of safety communication:
- Mobile 'phone networks are unreliable at sea
- You can only can only call one number with a 'phone, and therefore surrounding vessels will be unaware of your circumstances
- Modern DSC VHF radios can transmit position with distress message (when connected to GPS)
- The rescue services can obtain a bearing of VHF signals
- It is HM Coastguard's preferred method of communication.
Course Cost: £65 *
Minimum Age: 12 (However, Certificates awarded to those under 16 will be issued with a postdated 'Valid From Date' for their 16th Birthday)
Courses Dates: Please see our calender
* Please note that there is a further charge, by the RYA for the examination and certification (Currently £60)