TB13 - GMDSS VHF units
GMDSS portable survival craft VHF units. These radios are not for use in general onboard operations.
Part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System equipment is the 3 survival craft two-way portable radios. These GMDSS radios are designed for emergency use only.
The Club’s Ship Inspectors often see the GMDSS portable VHF units being used for general onboard communications. To reduce the risk of a possible Port State Control (PSC) deficiency or detention caused by the accidental damage of a radio, it is strongly recommended that these radios are not used for general onboard operations. Non-GMDSS type radios of either VHF or UHF should be provided for this purpose.
If installed after 23 November 1996, each GMDSS radio is required to have for emergency use a primary source of power. This is normally a battery with a non-replaceable seal. Once this seal is broken the battery can no longer be considered useable. We recommend that all GMDSS radios are similarly equipped in order to avoid any potential problems.
The International Radio Regulations require each GMDSS ship to maintain a radio log in which details of itemised equipment checks are recorded on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. One of these requirements is: Each survival craft two-way VHF equipment shall be tested at least once a month on a frequency OTHER than ch. 16 VHF.
It is suggested that the monthly test of the radios is conducted using rechargeable batteries or batteries which are out of date. The emergency use batteries with non replaceable seals must not be used for this purpose.
Port State Control officers frequently inspect the radio log to check that all the required tests have been carried out . They also check the operational status of the survival craft radios, to satisfy themselves that the ship conforms to the requirements of the SOLAS convention.