Recreational Boating Information for the Northwest
911 is always the fastest way to get assistance but only in a life threatening or imminent danger situation.
VHF Distress Calls - CH16
Transmit a May-Day distress call only when imminent danger threatens life or property and immediate assistance is required.
Transmit a Pan-Pan ("Pahn Pahn") urgency call when the safety of a person or vessel is in jeopardy, but the danger is not life threatening. Transmission of a Pan Pan follows the same format as given for a May Day below. Transmit DSC Alert if available then May-Day on VHF CH. 16 while you still have power.
- Activate DSC Alert if available
- May-Day, May-Day, May-Day, this is 'Vessel Name", "Vessel Name", Vessel Name" - M.M.S.I. (number) & call sign when option is available
- May Day, 'Vessel Name' is at Position (Lat and Long), or distance / bearing from landmark
- We are (describe nature of emergency)
- We require (describe nature of assistance needed)
- Aboard are (describe number of people, age and condition if relevent)
- We have (describe safety equipment)
- 'Vessel Name' is (description: length, sail/power, design type, hull color, trim color)
If there is no response after a few moments, repeat the above message.
24 Hour Emergency Response
*Only call when a vessel is missing
or in danger.
County Sheriff / Harbor Patrol
City Harbor Patrol & Fire
Washington State Boat Accident Report Infomation
Washington State law requires the operator of
a recreational vessel involved in an accident
Vessel Rescue | Towing | Diving | Salvage Services:
- > Vessel Assist - Everett | 425.344.3056
- > Vessel Assist - Seattle | 203.300.0486
- > Vessel Assist - Tacoma | Olympia | 253.312.2927
BOAT SAFETY: 9 Emergency Signals & Devices