Marine VHF coverage in Gulf St Vincent and Encounter Bay

By Peter Carter (2022)

Several VMR organisations monitor Marine VHF in local waters:

SA Sea Rescue Squadron

  • Adelaide (SRA): Daily 07:00–19:00
  • Wirrina: Weekends and public holidays
  • Edithburgh: Weekends and public holidays
  • After hours (by arrangement): Fulham, Hallett Cove

Aus Volunteer Coast Guard (AVCG)

  • CG North Haven: Weekends and public holidays
  • CG Ardrossan: Daily 24 hours, and VMR American River: Daily 24 hours. If both are out, CG Operations may respond.

Victor Harbor–Goolwa Sea Rescue (VHGSR) Hours not stated

All monitor channel 16, with channel 73 as the working channel. VHGSR monitors the Channel 83 repeater, all others the Channel 80 repeater. Along the metropolitan coast, Grange marks the border between AVCG and SRA coverage.

Bear in mind that close in to cliffs, and with only 5W output, you may not be able make contact with these bases on Channel 16 or the Channel 80 repeater. In this case, try to move out to sea or relay through another station.

Coast Radio Adelaide (CRA)

The CRA system is based on 14 Government Radio Network towers and gives coverage along the entire coast, Lower Murray Lakes and Coorong. It monitors Channel 16 and its working channel Channel 67 24 hours a day: 07:00–19:00 by SRA at West Beach, 19:00–07:00 by Flinders Ports at Outer Harbor. In addition, the system is also monitored by Police Water Operations.

CRA is for emergencies only. It will not normally accept routine traffic.

There have been cases where vessels to the east of Backstairs Passage have called SRA on Channel 16 but have been beyond the range of SRA. They can be heard by CRA through the KI-East tower, and the CRA operator may suggest contact via Channel 80. If that is not possible, the CRA operator my act as SRA through the CRA system.

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