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Radio Frequencies And Hours Of Your Nearest Coastguard Areas

Click on the links below to learn what to do in case of an emergency:

Calling Procedures
Radio Distress Calling
Marine Radio VHF Call Sign


Channel 82 is the dedicated Coastguard channel for trip reports, assistance calls and search and rescue operations.

Feel free to call up and leave a trip report between the hours of 0630 and 1830 hours seven days a week. Weather forecasts and current conditions are broadcast at 0805, 1005, 1205, 1405 and 1605 during weekends. Our radio scheds operate at 0805, 1205 and 1605.

All vessels are strongly encouraged to lodge a trip report when heading out for a day's fishing or sailing. All you need to do is tell Coastguard your boat name, number of people on board, the area you are heading to and expected time back then up date us of any position changes you make during the day. This will give us invaluable information if you get into strife but also give you peace of mind that someone is aware of where you are and waiting to hear that you are safely back.

Nowcasting - Continuous weather information - VHF Channel 21

You can now access 24 hour a day information about weather conditions in and around Hawke Bay.

VHF Channel 16 - The Universal Distress Frequency

Location Call Sign VHF Channel/Frequency Hours
Napier ZMH213 CH82

0630-1830 hours

7 days a week

Gisborne - CH60, 83 0800-1700 Weekends Sept-May
0915, 1215, 1415, 1615 (365 Days )
East Cape - CH61 24 Hours
Opotiki - CH68, 71 As Required
Waihau Bay - CH63 0915, 1215, 1515, 1815 (365 days)
Whakatane ZMH83 CH80, 71, 83
(Waihau Bay)
Tauranga ZMH35 CH83,
CH62 SSB 4417Khz
24 Hours
Waihi Beach - CH85, 68, 71 0700-2100
Whangamata ZMH54 CH84, SSB 4417Khz
(Request only)
Tairua/Pauanui - CH86 ex Whitianga
Whitianga ZMH48 CH86, 61, 78
Weather 21, 23
Rotorua Lakes Rescue 1 CH86 As Required
Taupo ZMQ4343 CH61, 83 0900-2030 (weekends)
Turangi - CH61, 83 0915, 1615, 1815
0900-2030 (Pub Hols)


Rules for General Radio Use:

  • Listen before transmitting
  • Don’t make unnecessary calls and keep all calls as brief as possible
  • Don’t allow children to play with the radio
  • Always identify yourself using your call sign and boat name
  • Always ensure your microphone is correctly stowed to avoid accidental transmissions which will lock up the channel
  • Use Channel 16 for making your initial call, then move to an agreed working channel for emergencies
  • Stay on Channel 16 unless you are directed to another channel by MSA Maritime Radio or Coastguard
  • Return to Channel 16 when you have completed a call
  • Make sure you obtain an operator’s qualification and call sign

Nationwide, Maritime Radio keeps a 24-hour listening watch on Channel 16. There are also many volunteer Coastal and Coastguard stations keeping a listening watch on Channel 16 and other channels locally.


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