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 RYA  VHF GMDSS Radio Course 

RYA VHF GMDSS Course trains you for the 'certificate to operate' which is required to use a VHF Marine radio aboard your vessel. This course requires no prior knowledge and encompasses the VHF and DSC components of the RYA Radio Course in one day or over two evenings.

If you do not have the RYA VHF certificate enrol on the City Sailing one day or two evenings SRC GMDSS course which will qualify you to operate all Marine VHF radios worldwide.

Prior Course Knowledge 

This course is aimed for you to safely and knowledgeably use a VHF radio and be able to transmit a distress call in the event of an emergency.


The course will cumulate in an external assessment for your full RYA VHF GMDSS Radio operators certificate.


Prior to the course we recommend that you read our pdf notes and learn the Phonetic alphabet. We will also send you the RYA VHF GMDSS Book hardcopy or e-copy for you to read prior to the course.

Prior course learning you will be expected to watch the videos HERE and read our course notes.

You will need:    Passport Photo, Exam form downloaded from the RYA Web site linked HERE 

SRC GMDSS Updates 

DSC Distress Alert sent in error

If a DSC Distress Alert is sent inadvertently the advice is to switch off the set to prevent the alert being repeated automatically. However, some newer sets may have a dedicated function to cancel a Distress Alert. If available, this cancel function should be used as switching off and on might not cancel the distress on sets with a cancel function. In either instance, a voice message should be sent using high power on CH16 to "all stations" that cancels the distress alert. It is important that the MMSI number is included in the voice message so that the voice message is associated to the DSC alert. 

Anybody who acts as the master of a vessel is advised to familiarise themself with their own radio equipment and to know what functionality is available.

Distress Relay procedure

A change to the protocol for Distress Relay means that Digital Selective Calling (DSC) should no longer be used to initiate a Distress Relay voice call and message. Distress Relay should be made by voice only, targeted to a specific Coast Station using VHF CH 16.

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