Making a Marine Telephone Call

The following is a summary from Canadian Coast Guard procedures. This service enables a person aboard a ship to speak directly to any person ashore, or vice versa, as in ordinary long distance telephone calls through MCTS Centres (Marine Communications and Traffic Services). These B.C. MCTS Centres no longer offer radio-telephone service: Vancouver, Victoria, Comox, Prince Rupert, Tofino. If you wish to use this service, contact your nearest MCTS Centre in advance to find out about payment options. [Government Directory: Canadian Coast Guard]

Call Payment from a boat:

Canadian Coast Guard calling service may be billed:

  1. Directly to the vessel, by providing the name, address, and telephone number of the owner (which CCG will keep on file)
  2. To a credit card acceptable to the Telephone Company involved (must already be on file)
  3. Collect to the called number (they must accept the charges from the Marine Operator)
  4. With an Accounting Authority Code (commercial or foreign vessels).

Calling Shore:

  1. You may use the international calling channel 16 or the CCG calling channel 83A to call the Canadian Coast Guard Radio. (CCG no longer monitors 22A). Listen to make sure the MCTS (Marine Communication & Traffic Service) Centre is not busy with another ship.
  2. Call the centre ending with your vessel's callsign. They may ask you to "standby".
  3. When you have established communication, give the following:
    1. Name of city
    2. Name and/or telephone number of person being called, and if the call is to be made "collect".
    3. Name of the caller or the billing information on file (don't give your telephone credit card number over the air!).
  4. When the call is completed, sign off, using the name and call sign of your ship.
  5. When first placing the call, request the radio station to "report charges" if you need to know that information.

Calling a Boat:

  1. Dial "0" (zero) and ask for the "Marine Operator".
  2. Give the following information:
    1. Name of the person and ship being called.
    2. Name of the city and telephone number from which the call is being made and number of the callers' telephone credit calling card (if using one).
    3. It is useful if you know the location of the boat so the marine operator can target the appropriate transmitter.
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