Originally Posted by Norcalcoastie
Also when shit really goes wrong itís very nice to to be able to chat with professional rescuers. 9 times out of 10 we donít know the whole situation. Make a comms plan in which everyone knows which channel you will be using as a group, and what channel pros will be on (ch 16 VHF, 156.8 MHz) during a rescue. Additionally I carry a PLB, but some of the areas I float are rather remote.
Knowing what channels the pros are on is huge--as is knowing your own channels. If you write down the channels you will be monitoring--(with frequencies, not just "Ch. 1, Ch. 2")--it could also make things that much easier for rescuers to help YOU.
Note that it's generally illegal to transmit on the pros frequencies, but it's not illegal to have them programmed into your radio, and you're probably not going to get in trouble for using that freq if you're having a very bad day and need to communicate with them.
Both commercial VHF and Ham radios can be programmed with frequencies of your choosing. You should have a Ham radio license to xmit on a ham radio, but again, if you have an awful day, you should use it and apologize later. There are two VHF frequencies allocated for public use, but you're limited to 5W transmit power:
Blue Dot 154.570 MHz MURS Green Dot 154.600 MHz MURS
These are the same frequencies that McDonald's/etc use in their drive-throughs. You could use these without a license for coordinating a group rescue...but don't bump the power trying to reach out or you'll mess with other licensed and unlicensed users..adn the FCC can levy some hefty fines.
There's always that one ham nerd on every online discussion about comms...most of them are know-it-alls and deathly afraid of the FCC. I've got a good general idea of the "dos and do not's", feel free to ask...or maybe i'm just the annoying nerdy kia. haha.