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'This is US Warship please turn to Channel 72 for an important announcement'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 18 July 2014, 07:34

Fig.1 Channel 16 - The emergency channel

On the helm overnight I kept an ear out for SOS and other messages on Channel 16. What I got was the most bizarre set of calls and messages:

The US Navy acting on behalf of the United Nations ... the message went on to ask skippers to look out for anything suspicious and to report it. This is 8-12 miles out to sea along the Spanish, Mediterranean coast. 

On my watch I had:

  • a small yacht, all sails up - no lights at all. They shown a torch into their sail as they came close.
  • a cattermarran; no lights on. Lights on as we approached, then all navigation lights on after we passed and motored off into the darkness.
  • a rib, in the dark, someone holding a torch.
  • one legit, correctly lit small yacht
  • various tankers in the distance, the largest a staggering 313m long and 40m wide.

Calls to prayer

Disco Music

General chatter

"Mayday, Mayday" - not in the immediate vicinity but the person couldn't give their chart position

My fertile imagination thought a war had broken out and I could hear shells exploding in Algeria. 


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