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Course Outline

Boater dialing a VHF radio

For a complete listing of all VHF channels and the areas in which they are used in Canada, visit the Industry Canada website. Here are the channels most commonly used by Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centres on Canadian waters in the Central and Arctic regions.

  • Channels 1-3, 23-28, 60, 64, 84-86: Public correspondence (marine operator).
  • Channel 11-12: Vessel traffic regulating.
  • Channel 13: Intership navigational traffic (bridge-to-bridge).
  • Channel 16: Distress and safety calls to Canadian Coast Guard and others, and to initiate calls to other vessels; often called the "hailing" channel. When hailing, contact the other vessel, quickly agree to another channel, and then switch to that channel to continue conversation. This channel is continuously monitored by all MCTS Centres.
  • Channel 21B, 83B: Continuous Marine Broadcast (CMB) service (in English) transmits severe weather warnings, ice information, hazards to navigation, and other safety warnings.
  • Channel 22A: Communications between the Canadian Coast Guard and non-Coast Guard stations only.
  • Channel 23B, 28B: Continuous Marine Broadcast (CMB) service in French.
  • Channels 24, 26-27, 85: Ship-to-shore communications.
  • Channels 65: Search and Rescue and anti-pollution on the Great Lakes.
  • Channels 68: Recreational vessel radio channel for marinas, yachts, and pleasure craft.
  • Channel 70: Digital selective calling "alert channel." To make a digital call, each radio must have a nine-digit Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number. These numbers are assigned free of charge by Industry Canada.
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