Radio is the best and most reliable way for mariners to communicate. All boats should be equipped with a VHF radio, and boat captains should make sure that not only they, but all members of the party, know how to use it. Channel 16 is used for standby and for emergency calls. Virgin Islands Radio, which can facilitate ship-to-shore calls, monitors channels 24, 85, and 87. Register and pay ahead of time with Virgin Islands Radio, and you will be able to make and receive local and international phone calls with their assistance. Channels 3, 4, and 6 are used for weather updates.
Be sure to review proper radio use before casting off. For example, channel 16 should only be used to establish contact with another party and not for conversations. In the case of a real emergency, use channel 16 and call “Mayday, mayday, mayday”; state the name of the vessel; and then say “over” until someone responds. It is important to remain calm and speak clearly so you can be understood.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition