Hang on Island Hopper, You seem to have forgotten the requirements of GMDSS.
Certainly here in Eurup, I find that unless I generate a MF/HF DSC
call my MF/HF call will go unanswered. This is because of course under IMO/GMDSS rules there is no mandatory listening watch on MF/HF, whereas the provisions were extended for VHF.
Secondly according to various bodies and a read of the very good gmdss.co.au, nearly 99% of MF/HF DSC alerts are false, to such an extent that the very system is under question.
Immarsat EGC system, widely used for safety
alerting has, as an alternative worked really well. The vast vast majority of ship to shore traffic is now Sat based.
I was making the point, that on a lot of modern bridges Inmarsat M ( or A/B) is used to meet the GMDSS carriage requirements ( and YES your phone number is published in the ITU quides - BTW).
For Yachties, ordinary non-approved sat phones such as LEO systems or Isatphone, do fine for rescue
. The whole purpose of GMDSS was to remove the need to try and contact surrounding ships, BUT TO CONTACT THE RCC. This seems to be repeatedly forgotten by people still with old SOLAS concepts.
Hence you program up your non GMDSS sat phone with a convenient MRCC number, i.e. Falmouth or Haliifax, ring them ( not relying on dodgy HF, or maybe your in a lifeboat) , They then set off the appropriate rescue assets, including local ships ( via AMVER etc) and SAR etc. YOU DO not need to broadcast distress. In fact on MF/HF this has brought the system to its knees.
The fact is that a modern non-compulsory fit sat phone, will do the average leisure user fine, in weather info, in face to face comms, and in rescue situations, backed up by a conventional DSC VHF unit. This is the most useful, most cost effective trans-ocean system we have.
Im not deriding MF/HF I'm an instructing GOC , i used to teach it and I'm an amateur and I have ( or used to have) on my boat a full Ham and MF/HF and sat phone setup. But thats just me. Its not at all necessary for the average person to have MF/HF in any way and still be able to communicate simply, reliability
as to commercial
MF/HF. I still hear a chatter on MF mainly from fishing
boats suffering from A2 carriage requirements. I hear almost nothing on HF.
Ogh, an now that Inmarsat have a low cost sat phone service
, how long do you think it will be before GMDSS rules allow it, instead of MF/HF, not long I think given the clout that organization has with COMSAR and the IMO/ITU