Using the maritime radio service

The radio handbook for coastal vessels is a guide to operators of ship and coastal radio stations and operators of VHF and SSB radios.

The radio handbook is your guide to marine communication. It includes:

  • The correct procedures for communicating
    • over the maritime radio network
    • through radio telephone
    • distress, urgency and safety calls
  • Information about coverage and services
    • Broadcasts
    • Medical advice
    • Warnings
  • Additional information
    • search and rescue management in New Zealand
    • how radio works
    • useful contacts
    • glossary

The handbook also includes two stickers for quick reference:

  • VHF marine channels
  • Radio distress calling.

Download Radio handbook 2015[PDF: 852Kb, 72 pages]

See also:
Get a quick visual guide for your vessel.

VHF channels

This sticker lists the major VHF channels.

[PDF: 110KB, 1 page]


In an emergency

1.Wear your lifejackets

2.Activate your distress beacon

3.Switch radio to full power

Call 111 Radio a MAYDAY