If you’re more than 2nm from the shore on open waters, you must have a marine radio. Even within 2nm, it’s recommended. Marine radios can be used to make distress calls to other vessels in the area or to shore stations.
However, under federal regulations, you need an operating certificate to use a VHF and HF radio:
- The Marine Radio Short Range Operator’s VHF Certificate of Proficiency (SROCP) is for VHF radio and is the normal certificate for recreational boaters.
- The Marine Radio Operator’s Long Range Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP) is for VHF and MF/HF radio.
The LROCP qualification allows the operator to operate both the VHF marine radiotelephony equipment and the MF/HF marine telephony equipment. The examination consists of a 50 multi-choice question paper (duration 1 hour with a 70% pass mark) and a practical component. The practical component may be conducted by either the invigilator or another person nominated by the invigilator.
At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate a practical knowledge of GMDSS sub-systems and equipment which is appropriate to vessels operating in Australian waters on which a radio installation is not compulsory under international agreements. Specifically, MF/HF and VHF radio telephony equipment with digital selective calling (DSC) facilities, and emergency position indicating radio beacons of the 406 MHz.
- Demonstrate an ability to use MF/HF and VHF radiotelephony and digital selective calling (DSC) operating procedures, particularly those relating to distress, urgency, and safety.
- Demonstrate an understanding of simple maintenance practices required to keep the marine radio equipment specified in (1) in good working order, including the repair of minor faults.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the regulations applicable to ship stations equipped with radio telephony and digital selective calling facilities.
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of the Australian marine search and rescue system.
- Demonstrate a practical knowledge of marine radio operations and equipment.
Please note that this online course will not grant you your Marine Radio license. The actual license requires you to sit a closed book, in-class, timed exam that can’t be done online.
PS: If you see bold/italic within the course material it could be a hint that the material is relevant to the final exam 😉