From September 2017, some of the VHF channel numbers used to contact the UK Coastguard will be changing

Those wanting maritime safety information or radio medical advice from the UK Coastguard will soon have to use new VHF channel numbers.

Currently, VHF channels 23, 84 and 86 are used for these two services.

But from September 2017, boat owners, shipping companies and anyone who puts out to sea will have to use VHF 62, 63 and 64.

The use of VHF Channel 10 for MSI and pollution control (back up) is unchanged.

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The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the move comes as a result of changes to Appendix 18 (Marine VHF) of the Radio Regulations.

Commenting on the changes, Mark Lawson from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “Although it’s not happening until September, when it happens the changeover will be absolute and we want to make people aware of this changeover in good time given our commitment to deliver maritime safety and wider support to the maritime community.”

“The exact date of change will be announced as soon as possible. In the meantime, we suggest anyone who uses any type of vessel makes a careful note of these replacement channels so they are ready when it does happen,” he stressed.

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The announcement is just a number of changes being made by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

On 1 February 2017, new UK Coastguard emergency numbers for long range search and rescue were introduced.

This was as a result of the reorganisation of HM Coastguard to a national network, which saw the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) at Fareham taking over this role from Falmouth Coastguard.


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