Calling For Help | Safer Paddling Series: Episode 8 | Rapid Media
In partnership with the U.S. Coastguard and the Water Sports Foundation, instructors Paul and Kate Kuthe of the American Canoeing Association teach proper radio protocol for emergencies on the water in Safer Paddling Series: Episode 8.
Knowing how to properly call for help is crucial to your safety on the water.
1Turn your VHF radio to channel 16.
To call the coast guard or any other boat during an emergency, turn your VHF radio to channel 16.
2 Repeat the word “mayday” 3 times.
Repeat the word “mayday” three times. Say “this is,” then repeat the name of your vessel three times. If you’re in an unnamed kayak, use a visual description, like the colour of your boat.
3 Repeat “mayday” + description of your kayak.
Repeat “mayday” once more, and the description of your kayak.
4 Give Your GPS Coordinates
Next, give your position. If you have them, use your GPS coordinates. If not, the next best thing is a compass bearing and a distance to a well-known landmark, like a navigational aid or a small island.
State the nature of your distress
State the nature of your distress, the kind of assistance needed, and the number of people in your group. Add any other information that might help with your rescue. Then, say “over.”
Be smart. Be safe. Have fun.
As a United Stated Coast Guard nonprofit grant recipient, the Water Sports Foundation produces paddling safety outreach materials and distributes them through boating and paddling media providers. Paddle sports currently has an inordinately high rate of accidents and deaths that for the past five years has been increasing, while power boating stats have been decreasing during the same period. The goal is to create heightened public awareness of safer paddling making paddle sports safer and to ultimately reduce the total number of paddle sports related deaths annually.