Originally Posted by goboatingnow
To receive a "proper" MMSI, you do need a radio license , but its does not require any examination. (form 605) . This form provides both the Operator License and the ships license.
Most foreign countries expect you as an operator to have an operators license, a ships radio station license and a valid MMSI no.
Not sure about elsewhere, but in Oz, you need a Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency to use VHF and HF Marine, or Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency to use VHF Marine Only.
The 27Mhz Marine band (27.880 - Ch 88 - is the distress/calling frequency) requires no license, permits or anything else, it's covered by a class license like CB (27mhz or UHF)
is pretty easy, a day course. You pay for the cert to be issued (not by the govt but by a 3rd Party registered training organisation, in this case the Australian Maritime College. It's a photo
id thing like a drivers license and is forever - no expiry.
MMSI issue needs you to apply for it to the SMA, and if you have HF in the boat, that requires an Apparatus License, not sure what it costs, but it's cheap
As someone else said, Marine Rescue
in Oz is handled entirely by Volunteer organisations, which vary from state to state. In SA, the State Emergency Service
has the most facilities, with rescue
boats in 4 locations, but no base facilities that are manned 24/7. Volunteer Coast Guard (Australia does not have a military Coast Guard service
at all, just the Navy) Air Sea Rescue and Sea Rescue Squadron make up the rest.
Volunteer Coast Gaurd man watch stations all over the place, so a call on 88 or 16vhf or even UHF CB Ch 11 will get someones attention most places. If you are out of range, a good mobile phone
with a mast
works to about 50 miles out to sea.
Lot of boaties use UHF CB because it's also a class license and you don't need an individual one - it has repeaters as well - the local one covers most of the top part of Spencer Gulf pretty well. Ch 11 range is about the same as marine VHF.
My VHF set doesn't have DSC but it's old and tired and when I replace it I will put in a DSC radio, but other than volunteers, there is no single
govt entity that is responsible for marine radio communications or have facilities for it, so the usefullness of it is limited and not mandatory, or at least not yet. That's entirely or almost entirely done by volunteers and volunteer rescue organisations, which is better than nothing, as they do a pretty good job.