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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there still a Telephone Operator you can contact with your VHF to call a buddy for help if you break down offshore? No cell phone. If there is can you use a credit card are do you have to have an account with the offshore Operators phone service? Does anyone know what channel you can find the service?
Lobo Jim

723 Posts
Here's a list of channels
Any of the "marine operator" channels will allow you to make a call.
You can charge it to the # you are calling or your phone #

This list was highjacked from an article by Capt. Jack on the TKF site.

CH. US Channel Use
01A Port operations & Commercial VTS in selected areas.
03A US Government only- Coast Guard.
04A Pacific coast- Coast Guard; East coast- Comm. fishing.
05A Port operations; VTS in Seattle
06 Inter-ship safety.
07a Commercial
08 Commercial (inter-ship only)
09 Boater Calling Channel- Commercial & Recreational
10 Commercial
11 Commercial, VTS in selected areas
12 Port operations; VTS in selected areas
13 Inter-ship navigation safety (Bridge-to-Bridge).
14 Port operations; VTS in selected areas.
15 Environmental (Receive only).
16 International Distress, Safety & Calling.
17 State Controlled (1watt).
18A Commercial.
19A Commercial.
20A Port operations.
21A US Government Only.
22A US & Canadian Coast Guard Liaison.
23A US Government Only.
24 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
25 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
26 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
27 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
28 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
61A US Government Only.
63A Port operations; VTS in selected areas.
64A US Government Only.
65A Port operations.
66A Port operations.
67 Commercial; Bridge-to-Bridge Lower Mississippi.
68 Non-Commercial (Recreational).
69 Non-Commercial (Recreational).
70 Digital selective calling (no voice communication).
71 Non-Commercial (Recreational).
72 Non-Commercial (inter-ship only).
73 Port operations.
74 Port operations.
77 Port operations (inter-ship only).
78A Non-Commercial (Recreational).
79A Commercial; Non-Commercial Great Lakes only.
80A Commercial; Non-Commercial Great Lakes only.
81A US Government Only- EPA operations.
82A US Government Only.
83A US Government Only- Coast Guard.
84 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
85 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
86 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
87 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator).
88 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)Canadian border
88A Commercial, inter-ship only.
(VTS- US Coast Guard- Vessel Traffic System).

3,180 Posts
Marine Operator

Channels 24 through 28 are marine operator allocated. I have never used one but I think you can use a phone calling card if you do not have an account. Maybe a collect call?

I don't think you would want to broadcast a calling card number or credit card number to the world. Not these days!

You are realistically only going to have line of sight communication with your VHF anyway. The best bet would be to try for any boat near you for help or to relay a call, either by VHF or cellular.

I think you will find most anyone willing to help. I carry a harness for hooking up to take a boat in tow, and I have read a lot of posts about boats that are prepared to help others.


Edit, I forgot about the upper frequency channels ....Thanks Benswa.
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