VHF and the Mediterranean
South Pacific Familyadventure 2008
Thu 27 Oct 2022 19:38
There´s an ongoing chat on ch 16,often private conversations and sometimes even adverse sounds and private music played on ch 16.
One evening we overheard a very agressive private argument and allthough serious ship commanders as well as coast radiostations commanded the participants "off ch 16" it continued.
Also there are loads of DSC alarms which in our case on Dora Mac means a very loud alarmsignal waking everyone up as well as Bianca barking. The majority concerns refugee boats adrift and allthough rescue has been organised it`s important for shipping in the area to know the position for the drifting boat not to be overrun in darkness. A large part are also pan-pan messages from boats adrift due to engineproblems which to me sometimes appears to hysteric.
After days and nights at sea the alarms risk to wear a small crew down not being able to sleep off watch. That in return makes it tempting to switch the VHF radio off which would be an offense to international rules at sea.