In the United Kingdom there are approximately 57 VHF channels available plus the private channels M and M2 for use by marinas and yacht clubs and the private channel 00 which is for HMCG use only. 2 additional channels are dedicated to the Automatic Identification System services. The U. K. uses the "International Frequency" plan.
Like virtually all other countries throughout the world, the United Kingdom has dedicated many of these channels to specific uses.
Under International Treaty, this channel is used for communications between ships and aircraft for coordinating search and rescue operations.
In addition to SAR operations, this channel is used during pollution incidents. It is also used for the broadcast of Marine Safety Information in the UK.
SAR operations and for safety communications with HM Coastguard.
SAR operations and the broadcast of Marine Safety Information in the UK.
Inter-ship channels are for communications between ship stations. Inter-ship communications should be limited to Channels 6, 8, 72 and 77. Masters are urged to ensure that all ship-to-ship communications in the waters of the United Kingdom are confined to these channels
The U. K. has set aside, by international treaty, specific channels which are assigned to a user. It is important not to use these channels for other purposes if they have been assigned locally or if they have not been set aside for inter-ship working.
These channels, set aside by international agreement, are for making calls to the public telephone network. Calls made on these channels are often referred to as "link calls."
Channels set aside by the United Kingdom administration, for matters relating to mooring, berthing and race control. There are three marina channels:
Channels M and M2 are UK channels and should only be used in UK territorial waters. Their on-board use is covered by a Ship Radio License. However, equipment that is only capable of operating on these frequencies is usually licensed under a Coastal Station Radio License and it is not necessary for the operator to hold an operator's certificate.
Weather and navigation safety information is broadcast on channels 23, 84, and 86. Broadcasts are made every 3 hours beginning at 0710 Local, with an announcement made on channel 16 prior to the broadcast. Strong Wind Warnings are issued on receipt from the Meteorological Office if the wind in an inshore forecast area is expected to exceed force 6 and it was not forecast in the previous Inshore Forecast. MSI is also broadcast on channels 10 and 73.
While in the waters of the United Kingdom, the use of any marine VHF radio must be under the control of an operator holding an appropriate license issued by the country in which the vessel is registered.
United Kingdom VHF Frequencies and Usage
United Kingdom VHF Frequencies and Usage
|Channel Number||Ship Transmit MHz||Ship Receive MHz||Simplex||Duplex||Use||Notes|
|00||156.000||156.000||X||HM Coast Guard Use Only.||Private|
|01||156.050||160.650||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|02||156.100||160.700||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|03||156.150||160.750||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|04||156.200||160.800||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|05||156.250||160.850||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|06||156.300||156.300||X||Intership||SAR Communications - Ships and Aircraft.|
|2006||160.900||160.900||X||Restricted||Experimental Use Only.|
|08||156.400||156.400||X||Intership||Ship to Ship Primary Working Channel.|
|09||156.450||156.450||X||Intership, Port Operations||Ship to Ship Secondary Working Channel. Is often used by ship pilots.|
|10||156.500||156.500||X||Intership, Port Operations||SAR, Pollution Incidents, MSI Broadcasts. Coordinated with HMCG.|
|13||156.650||156.650||X||International Navigation Safety Channel||Intership, Port Operations||May also be used for ship movement, port operations, and. limited coast stations.|
|15||156.750||156.750||X||Intership, Port Operations||Ship to Ship secondary working channel. May also be used for on-board communications. 1 Watt Output.|
|16||156.800||156.800||X||International Distress, Safety and Calling Channel.|
|17||156.850||156.850||X||Intership, Port Operations||Ship to Ship secondary working channel. May also be used for on-board communications. 1 Watt Output.|
|18||156.900||161.500||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|19||156.950||161.550||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|1019||156.950||156.950||X||Port Operations and Ship Movements|
|2019||161.550||161.550||X||Port Operations and Ship Movements||Limited to Coast Stations only except with prior UK approval.|
|20||157.000||161.600||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|1020||157.000||157.000||X||Port Operations and Ship Movements|
|2020||161.600||161.600||X||Port Operations and Ship Movements||Limited to Coast Stations only except with prior UK approval.|
|21||157.050||161.650||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|22||157.100||161.700||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|23||157.150||161.750||X||Safety||HMCG / SAR / Marine Safety Broadcasts|
|24||157.200||161.800||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|25||157.250||161.850||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|26||157.300||161.900||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|27||157.350||161.950||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for testing of new AIS applications.|
|28||157.400||162.000||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for testing of new AIS applications.|
|37 (M1)||157.850||157.850||X||U. K. Marinas and Yacht Clubs||Private|
|60||156.025||160.625||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|61||156.075||160.675||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|62||156.125||160.725||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|63||156.175||160.775||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|64||156.225||160.825||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|65||156.275||160.875||X||National Coastwatch System|
|66||156.325||160.925||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|67||156.375||156.375||X||Intership, Port Operations||HMCG / SAR|
|69||156.475||156.475||X||Intership, Port Operations|
|70||156.525||156.525||X||International "DSC" Distress, Safety, and Calling Channel - No Voice Communications Authorized.|
|72||156.625||156.625||X||Intership||Ship to Ship Primary Working Channel.|
|73||156.675||156.675||X||Intership, Port Operations||HMCG / SAR|
|75||156.775||156.775||X||Intership||Navigation related communications only.|
|76||156.825||156.825||X||Intership||Navigation related communications only.|
|77||156.875||156.875||X||Intership||Ship to Ship Primary Working Channel.|
|78||156.925||161.525||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|1078||156.925||156.925||X||Port Operations and Ship Movements|
|2078||161.525||161.525||X||Port Operations and Ship Movements||Limited to Coast Stations only except with prior UK approval.|
|79||156.975||161.575||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence|
|1079||156.975||156.975||X||Port Operations and Ship Movements|
|2079||161.575||161.575||X||Port Operations and Ship Movements||Limited to Coast Stations only except with prior UK approval.|
|80||157.025||161.625||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||U. K. Marinas. Available for VDSMS.|
|81||157.075||161.675||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|82||157.125||161.725||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|83||157.175||161.775||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|84||157.225||161.825||X||Port Operations||HMCG / SAR / Marine Safety Broadcasts|
|85||157.275||161.875||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||Available for VDSMS.|
|86||157.325||161.925||X||Port Operations, Public Correspondence||HMCG / SAR / Marine Safety Broadcasts|
|87||157.375||157.375||X||Port Operations||Available for testing of new AIS applications.|
|88||157.425||157.425||X||Port Operations||Available for testing of new AIS applications.|
|M2||161.425||161.425||X||U. K. Yacht Clubs||Private|
|AIS1||161.975||161.975||X||Automatic Identification System|
|AIS2||162.025||162.025||X||Automatic Identification System|
The complete list can be downloaded in zipped PDF format United Kingdom VHF Frequency Chart.