Marine Radio Information
MAYDAY Spoken 3 times. This is used to indicate grave and imminent danger and request immediate help.
PAN PAN (PAHN PAHN) Indicates a very urgent message concerning the safety of a ship, aircraft or other vehicle, or the safety of a person.
SECURITY (SAY-CUR-IT-TAY) Indicates a message concerning safety of navigation or important weather warnings.
Key Recreational Marine VHF Channels
16 Distress/Safety/Hailing only. Call, then switch to a working channel.
16/68 Local Assistance: Call Northwest Creek Marina if cell phone is unavailable. See Marine Assistance-Operations page for details.
13 Inter-ship navigation safety. Monitored by bridges in North Carolina.
22 Coast Guard Liaison and Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts.
26, 27 Automated radio checks in the Morehead City area.
68, 69 Non-commercial vessel working channels.
71, 72 Non-commercial vessel working channels.
78 Non-commercial vessel working channel.
70 Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed).
WX 3 NOAA Weather Radio Newport office.
Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI)
Maritime Mobile Service Identities (MMSIs) are nine digit numbers used by maritime digital selective calling (DSC), automatic identification systems (AIS), and certain other equipment to uniquely identify a ship or a coastal radio station. Recreational boaters who remain in U.S. waters can obtain an MMSI through approved organizations such as BOAT/US, SEA TOW, U.S. Power Squadron, and Shine Micro (primarily for AIS). Most of these organizations provide MMSIs at no charge even to non-members. A marine VHF radio equipped with DSC should be connected to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver so that position information will be transmitted in the event that a DSC distress call is initiated by the vessel.
Amateur Radio (Ham) Operator
There are several Ham nets dedicated to maritime mobile operations. The best known is the Waterway Net and Cruising Club, which is on the air every morning from 0745 to 0845. Listen to the net on 7268 kHz to hear general traffic to and from boats as well as weather reports and position reports of boats underway. Another common marine net operates from 0900 to 1900 hours daily on 14,300 kHz USB. This net is less structured than the Waterway Net, but does handle traffic to and from boats underway. Visit the Fairfield Harbour Yacht Club website (fhyc.us) for more information about New Bern area Amateur Radio activities and a list of FHYC Ham operators.