GMDSS - A User's Handbook
Whilst the Global Maritime Distress Safety System has been in place now for over 20 years constant technological developments mean it's always good to refresh our knowledge of the technical and procedural aspects of GMDSS.
This book is clearly targeted at candidates for the commercial operators' certificates, General Operator (GOC), Long Range (LRC) and Restricted Operator (ROC) and is intended to be used as preparatory pre-course reading. That said it has some very useful content for leisure users, especially those of us interested in longer offshore passage making.
The book covers topics including rules/regulations, procedures, radio telephony equipment, satellite comms all in a simple and concise manner supported by clear illustrations and real world photographs.
The flow of the book doesn't necessarily work for a casual leisure reader rather than a commercial student, if like me you would like to refresh your general knowledge of the subject I would suggest taking on the chapters in the following order: 1/4/5/6/8/9/10/11/3/12/2/7.
Training and education is a clear focus for this handbook, although adding reference to the RYA courses would have been useful context. If study for the commercial certificates is your aim then the book provides excellent summaries and self test questions the end of each chapter. Just to prove it is never too late to learn I took away some very useful tips on testing power sources, in particular hand held batteries; and how many of us know that we are only supposed to use Channels 15 and 17 on low power only?
Many radio procedures can be complicated and confusing especially if not regularly practiced and do not come easily to hand, after all how often do we have to put a distress call out. DSC procedures can be even more confusing as it feels we have to interact with the radio device itself as well as the person on the other end! The DSC chapter deals with the relevant procedures in a clear and simple manner, the flow chart on page 52 would be very useful replicated and laminated stuck to our Nav Stations.
Overall a useful reference manual which whilst aimed at commercial certificate candidates contains some valuable information and tips for the leisure user. AW