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professional vhf course (asa 173)

The aim of this course is to prepare students for the use of Maritime VHF for routine and emergency procedures in coastal waters. The student will have a thorough understanding of maritime VHF radios and GMDSS systems, and be able to use class D VHF DSC maritime radio for routine and distress communications in a professional and efficient way.

Per pax:

SGD 378


Please refer to the calendar for course dates.

Class size is up to 6.

Module outline: 

1. The general principles and basic features of the maritime mobile service relevant to vessels NOT subject to a compulsory fit under the SOLAS convention:​

  • Types of communication of the maritime mobile service 

  • Types of station in the maritime mobile service

  • Elementary knowledge of radio frequencies and channels appropriate to the VHF maritime mobile band, including International, US and Canada systems

  • Functionality of ship station equipment

2. Detailed working knowledge of radio equipment:

  • Radiotelephone channels 

  • Basic controls and usage 

  • Portable two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus 

  • Performance and setup of Maritime VHF antennas 

  • Purpose and use of Digital Selective Calling (DSC) facilities

  • Types of Call 

  • The Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number system

  • Call categorisation and priority (eg. Mayday) 

  • Call telecommand and traffic information 

  • VHF DSC facilities and usage

3. Operational procedures of the GMDSS and detailed practical operation of GMDSS subsystems and equipment. 

  • Search and rescue (SAR) procedures in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System

  • (GMDSS) 

  • Distress, urgency and safety communication procedures in the GMDSS 

  • Protection of distress frequencies 

  • Receiving Maritime Safety Information through NAVTEX and VHF radio 

  • Alerting and locating signals 

  • Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) 

  • Search and Rescue Radar Transponder (SART) 

4. Operational Procedures and regulations for VHF DSC and radiotelephone communications: 

  • Proper register of MMSI and callsign, and programming of a new VHF DSC radio. 

  • Ability to exchange communications relevant to the safety of life at sea 

  • Distress communications by voice 

  • Urgency communications by voice 

  • Safety communications by voice 

  • Reception of MSI by VHF radiotelephone 

  • Awareness of the existence and use of the IMO Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary 

  • Proficient use of international phonetic alphabet 

  • Regulations, Obligatory procedures and practices 

  • Practical and theoretical knowledge of radiotelephone call procedures, including Mayday, Pan Pan, Security, Mayday Relay calls.

  • Traffic charges 

  • Practical traffic routines 

  • Practical use of DSC functions of a class D VHF radio for alerts before various types of telephony communications. 

  • Properly reply a DSC call , including correctly using Acknowledge. 

5. Knowledge of regulations for VHF communications 

  • Regulations, obligatory procedures and practices

Note that photographs and videos taken during the course may be used for training and marketing purposes.

*Please refer to the Terms & Conditions here

*For FAQ, click here.

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