The following advice is given freely by the Maritime Coastguard Agency who co - ordinate marine rescues.
BY PHONE - Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard
BY MARINE RADIO - Call the Coastguard on Channel 16
IF AT SEA, If no other means of raising the alarm is available, use distress flares as appropriate.
NOTE. Mobile phones should not be relied upon as the only means of communication when by the sea or afloat as mobile coverage can be patchy. The Coastguard and Lifeboats cannot use direction finding equipment to locate a mobile phone signal and mobile phones are therefore unreliable.
Most stations around the British Isles are not manned 24 hours a day. Lifeboat stations should not be contacted once the rescue services have been alerted. If the crew have been given launch clearance and pagers activated they will be busy preparing the leave the station and do not have the time to answer telephones. Any contact should be via the Coastguard as they are the central body for coordinating the appropriate rescue services.
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