VHF Channel 16 Abuse

What can be done to stop channel 16 abuse?

Tired of listening to all the farm animals… from dogs barking to music and of course the famous insults…

Anything that can be done? Possible to locate where a VHF transmission is coming from?

Direction Finding has been around since WW2.

They tried moving all recreational hailing to channel 9 a few years ago. No sure why but the move was scrapped and now all the noise is back on 16.

Seems like up in New England more folks use ch. 09 vs Florida, where 16 is regularly abused.

Maybe the move to 9 was limited to New England. The move was prompted when some years ago, a tanker was inbound to Naragansett Bay and missed a bouy. USCG tried to hail the vessel to warn but could not be heard over all the recreational traffic around Newport RI. The result was the tanker ended up on Brenten Reef just south of Newport with some loss of fuel oil. Next year, all recreational hailing was mandated to use 9 exclusively. Problem was, 16 was not being monitored as also required so the mandate was dropped after a few years.

Two Acronyms: AIS, DSC.

It’s normally between the hours of 11pm and 5am that the gremlins come out to play and start trouble. They know the Captains gone to bed at that time. Most of the time its the usual filipnos and indians slagging each other. Professional seafarers that they are… Worst place I’ve been for it is off the coast of Senegal.

Anyone heard “Mariooooo” in a deep creepy voice? What is that all about? Heard it all over the world…

Heard a lot of #16 abuse all around the world, and isn’t it a pity that more CG and VTS operations around the world don’t continue to use VHF DF or triangulation, particularly in the light of the recent hoax off NJ. Before AIS, DF/triang was everywhere, but now in disuse, however…

… Last September, there I was coming out of London (UK, that is) heading down-Channel through the Dover Straits TSS under VTS control (i.e. ~SW), one set on VTS channel, the other on #16, when the music started. By the sound of it, something from E of Suez, culture unknown, blocking #16. (Remember that this is one of the hairiest traffic areas in the world - massive NE- & SW-bound traffic in the lanes, plus the crossing coastal, ferry, fishing operations adding to the mix.)

The music stopped eventually, and then I hear…

“MV XXXXXXX XXXXX, call sign ABC9D, MMSI 111111000, in position XX.xx XX,xx: XX.xx XXX.xx, this is Dover Coastguard, over;
Dover, this is MV XXXXXXXXX ;
(chan change etc)
MV X, Dover CG, I wish to speak to the Master ;
Dover CG, MV X, the Master can not be disturbed, what is problem ;
MV, D CG, illegal broadcast on #16… etc, I demand that the master report to this station on this channel;
MV, D CG Cannot call or disturb the Master :
(much back and forth, then)
MV, D CG, I am requiring you to log this radio traffic, and advising you that I am informing your Flag State Admin, and your next port, of this incident… etc.”

I went off watch with pleasant dreams imagining the conversation between that sorry OOW and his Captain when he is faced with an “enhanced” PSC boarding/inspection on arrival.
You have to love AIS combined with previous technology VHF DF with triangulation. !!! SWEET !!!

(ex-RN FAA, ex-SAR, no comment)

Reminds me of how things have changed in the last 20 years. When I used to work at a marina, one of the regular customers related this story: He was cruising up in Maine for the summer. He was at Grand Manan I. Just about to Canada. Way out in the boondocks.

He was chatting to a fellow cruiser on ch 68, They never even called each other on 16. They figured they were the only ones around, so they just called each other by first name on 68 as needed.

When the guy got home 2 months later there was a ticket for $25 from the FCC. Included was a transcript of their entire 20 minute conversation. Mind you, never once on the transcript did either guy say either vessels name, or call sign!!! I am still boggled at how they figured out who it was.

So the moral of the story is: The FCC can enforce the laws if it wants. When it wants. And where it wants. But will it? I really doubt there will be any change, since the budget is so tight now. But there should be a re education of the basic radio telephone etiquette across all marine usage. However, since they stopped requiring even the ROP for yachts, I really doubt it will be enforceable anyway.