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Subelement A
Rules & Regulations
Section 3
Watchkeeping
Radio watches for compulsory radiotelephone stations will include the following:
  • VHF channel 22a continuous watch at sea.
  • 121.5 MHz continuous watch at sea.
  • Correct Answer
    VHF channel 16 continuous watch.
  • 500 kHz.

47 CFR § 80.148 - Watch on 156.8 MHz (Ch. 16).

Each compulsory vessel, while underway, must maintain a watch for radiotelephone distress calls on 156.800 MHz whenever such station is not being used for exchanging communications.

For GMDSS ships, 156.525 MHz is the calling frequency for distress, safety, and general communications using digital selective calling and the watch on 156.800 MHz is provided so that ships not fitted with DSC will be able to call GMDSS ships, thus providing a link between GMDSS and non-GMDSS compliant ships.

The watch on 156.800 MHz is not required:

(a) Where a ship station is operating only with handheld bridge-to-bridge VHF radio equipment under § 80.143(c) of this part; or

(b) For vessels subject to the Bridge-to-Bridge Act and participating in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) system when the watch is maintained on both the bridge-to-bridge frequency and a separately assigned VTS frequency.

Reference Used, same info

FCC Guide on Channels and Message Types

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All compulsory equipped cargo ships (except those operating under GMDSS regulations or in a VTS) while being navigated outside of a harbor or port, shall keep a continuous radiotelephone watch on:
  • Correct Answer
    2182 kHz and Ch-16.
  • 2182 kHz.
  • Ch-16.
  • Cargo ships are exempt from radio watch regulations.

VHF Channel 16 is the international distress, safety, and calling channel. The VHF frequencies typically provide shorter range communications out to about 50 miles (depending on antenna height).

2182 kHz is Medium Frequency (MF) equivalent of VHF Channel 16. Frequencies in this range typically provide longer range communications.

47 CFR § 80.148 - Watch on 156.8 MHz (Ch. 16).

Each compulsory vessel, while underway, must maintain a watch for radiotelephone distress calls on 156.800 MHz whenever such station is not being used for exchanging communications.

For GMDSS ships, 156.525 MHz is the calling frequency for distress, safety, and general communications using digital selective calling and the watch on 156.800 MHz is provided so that ships not fitted with DSC will be able to call GMDSS ships, thus providing a link between GMDSS and non-GMDSS compliant ships.

The watch on 156.800 MHz is not required:

(a) Where a ship station is operating only with handheld bridge-to-bridge VHF radio equipment under § 80.143(c) of this part; or

(b) For vessels subject to the Bridge-to-Bridge Act and participating in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) system when the watch is maintained on both the bridge-to-bridge frequency and a separately assigned VTS frequency.

Reference Used, same info

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What channel must all compulsory, non-GMDSS vessels monitor at all times in the open sea?
  • Channel 8.
  • Channel 70.
  • Channel 6.
  • Correct Answer
    Channel 16.

47 CFR § 80.148 - Watch on 156.8 MHz (Ch. 16).

Each compulsory vessel, while underway, must maintain a watch for radiotelephone distress calls on 156.800 MHz whenever such station is not being used for exchanging communications.

For GMDSS ships, 156.525 MHz is the calling frequency for distress, safety, and general communications using digital selective calling and the watch on 156.800 MHz is provided so that ships not fitted with DSC will be able to call GMDSS ships, thus providing a link between GMDSS and non-GMDSS compliant ships.

The watch on 156.800 MHz is not required:

(a) Where a ship station is operating only with handheld bridge-to-bridge VHF radio equipment under § 80.143(c) of this part; or

(b) For vessels subject to the Bridge-to-Bridge Act and participating in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) system when the watch is maintained on both the bridge-to-bridge frequency and a separately assigned VTS frequency.

Reference Used, same info

US Coast Guard Radio Watch Regulations

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When a watch is required on 2182 kHz, at how many minutes past the hour must a 3 minute silent period be observed?
  • Correct Answer
    00, 30.
  • 15, 45.
  • 10, 40.
  • 05, 35.

47 CFR 80.301(a) Subpart G - Safety Watch Requirements and Procedures

§ 80.301 Watch requirements.

(a) Each public coast station licensed to operate in the band 1605-3500 kHz must monitor such frequency(s) as are used for working or, at the licensee's discretion, maintain a watch on 2182 kHz.

(b) Except for distress, urgency or safety messages, coast stations must not transmit on 2182 kHz during the silence periods for three minutes twice each hour beginning at x h.00 and x h.30 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

§ 80.304 Watch requirement during silence periods.

Each ship station operating on telephony on frequencies in the band 1605-3500 kHz must maintain a watch on the frequency 2182 kHz.

This watch must be maintained at least twice each hour for 3 minutes commencing at x h.00 and x h.30 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) using either a loudspeaker or headphone. Except for distress, urgency or safety messages, ship stations must not transmit during the silence periods on 2182 kHz.

Safety Watch Requirements at Code of Federal Regulations

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Which is true concerning a required watch on VHF Ch-16?
  • It is compulsory at all times while at sea until further notice, unless the vessel is in a VTS system.
  • When a vessel is in an A1 sea area and subject to the Bridge-to-Bridge act and in a VTS system, a watch is not required on Ch-16, provided the vessel monitors both Ch-13 and VTS channel.
  • It is always compulsory in sea areas A2, A3 and A4.
  • Correct Answer
    All of the above.

47 CFR § 80.148 - Watch on 156.8 MHz (Ch. 16).

Each compulsory vessel, while underway, must maintain a watch for radiotelephone distress calls on 156.800 MHz whenever such station is not being used for exchanging communications.

For GMDSS ships, 156.525 MHz is the calling frequency for distress, safety, and general communications using digital selective calling and the watch on 156.800 MHz is provided so that ships not fitted with DSC will be able to call GMDSS ships, thus providing a link between GMDSS and non-GMDSS compliant ships.

The watch on 156.800 MHz is not required:

(a) Where a ship station is operating only with handheld bridge-to-bridge VHF radio equipment under § 80.143(c) of this part; or

(b) For vessels subject to the Bridge-to-Bridge Act and participating in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) system when the watch is maintained on both the bridge-to-bridge frequency and a separately assigned VTS frequency.

Reference Used, same info

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What are the mandatory DSC watchkeeping bands/channels?
  • VHF Ch-70, 2 MHz MF DSC, 6 MHz DSC and 1 other HF DSC.
  • Correct Answer
    8 MHz HF DSC, 1 other HF DSC, 2 MHz MF DSC and VHF Ch-70.
  • 2 MHz MF DSC, 8 MHz DSC, VHF Ch-16 and 1 other HF DSC.
  • None of the above.

Remember, VHF Ch-70 is a Digital Selective Calling channel.

8 MHz HF DSC
1 other HF DSC
2 MHz MF DSC
Ch-70 VHF DSC

US Coast Guard RADIO WATCH REGULATIONS

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