NEWS — VHF marine radio explained

VHF Marine Radio Explained

If a bit rusty on the protocols of proper VHF marine radio communication, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has a new radio-use campaign directed at recreational boaters on the correct procedures of VHF transmission.

The campaign constitutes two online videos, a sticker and information cards providing easily explained and up-to-date information about using VHF marine radios.

The first video (see shows rec boaters the importance of operating VHF marine radio correctly. It includes a re-enactment of an actual rescue by the NSW Office of Boating Safety and Maritime Affairs and Marine Rescue NSW.

The second video (see, produced in collaboration with the Bureau of Meteorology, is about how and why boaters should always check the weather on their VHF marine radio before setting sail and while at sea.

ACMA says both vids are lively and engaging, shot in and around Sydney Harbour, and will appeal to both individual boaters and marine-related organisations.

The campaign also include an ACMA-produced sticker reminding boaters of the purpose of each VHF channel and information cards that reinforce the importance of calling on Channel 16 and then switching to a working channel. The info cards also remind boaters to always listen on Channel 16 when not using the radio.

For stickers and info cards contact Mick Owens (ACMA), phone (03) 9963 6839 or email:
PDFs can be downloaded from

The new VHF marine radio sticker from ACMA shows boaters the purpose of each channel.

Above and below: Two information cards provide specific instructions for VHF use, as well as important web links.