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Brief Introduction on Radio Equipment and Survey

Voyaging across oceans to make ends meet is the ultimate goal of maritime trade. May the reason be for the import-export of goods, for off-shore constructions, commercial diving purposes, or any other reasons, staying closely connected with onshore stations is crucial.
Communication between vessels and on-shore radio sites should remain intact for a smooth voyage. In the absence of proper communication, things can go south at any time.

Radio Equipment And Survey is a service for verifying and checking all the safety communication and radio equipment present on vessels before it departs the port. It is mandatory for all the ships to abide by the regulations of Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS), this is done to ensure that the ship is safe and fit in all aspects to carry out the voyage without any threat to property or life on the vessel. The very first SOLAS Convention happened in 1914, but measures to apply the regulations properly were a failure due to World War 1. Later it was brought to attention and applied again in 1960. Today the updated version from 1974 is followed all over the globe.

The Radio Survey is mandatory to be performed by a professional who has experience and expertise regarding maritime safety communications. Giving the immense importance of these surveys, no mistakes can be made. Every standard, rule, and regulation should be followed while executing the survey. Specialized equipment is used for testing the functionality of all communication and safety-related instruments present in every vessel.

The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (major revisions in 1995 and 2010), requires the radio operator to perform watchkeeping responsibilities in a specific way: 

1. The radio operator should take care that the watch is maintained on the frequencies specified in the Radio Regulations and the SOLAS Convention

2. while on duty, regular checks of the radio equipment operation and its sources of energy and report to the master any failure of this equipment.

The appointed surveyor should ensure that every aspect of the vessel’s communication safety is aligning with the standards and regulations mentioned in the SOLAS, and if it is found that a certain vessel is not abiding by the regulations, necessary correction should be made immediately so that the vessel won’t pose a threat when voyaging across the sea. If a party fails to take those corrective measures, the certificate offered to them is withdrawn and the relevant authorities are notified.

The radio inspection engineer checks the following items to ensure radio and communication safety –

1) Source of energy

2) Radio installations

3) Antennas

4) VHF transceivers

5) VHF DSC controller and Channel 70 DSC watch receiver

6)MF radiotelephone equipment, or MF/HF radiotelephone equipment

7) MF/HF radio telex equipment

8) MF DSC controller(s), or MF/HF DSC controller(s)

9) MF DSC watch receiver(s), or MF/HF DSC watch receiver (s)

10) INMARSAT Ship Earth Station(s)

11) NAVTEX equipment

12) Enhanced Group Call

13) Float free satellite EPIRB

14) Two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus for survival craft

15) Radar transponders (Now called “search and rescue locating devices” and may include AIS-SARTs)

16) Test equipment and spares carried

17) Radar(s)

18) ARPA

19) Receiver for a Global Navigation Satellite system or a Terrestrial Radionavigation System (GPS)

20) Automatic Identification System (AIS)

21) Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS)


You need to ensure to choose a reliable and experienced company to carry out these surveys. Alphard Maritime is one of the reputed companies to provide flawless Radio Equipment and Survey service. Get in touch with us today!