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Communication (VHF, ...)
What are the regulations regarding the means of communication for APS establishments that organize diving?
The applicable regulations come from the code of sport and maritime law, which varies according to the status of the vessel. Both regulatory sources must be respected, the obligations are cumulative.
Article R322-4 du code du sport, à portée générale pour tous les établissements d’APS, indique qu’un “moyen de communication permettant d’alerter rapidement les services de secours” doit être disponible.
TheItem A322-78-1 du code du sport, rend obligatoire “un moyen de communication permettant de prévenir les secours”. Rien n’est précisé quant à la nature de ce moyen de communication (téléphone fixe, mobile, …) hormis “lorsque la plongée se déroule en mer au départ d’une embarcation support de plongée”, auquel cas une VHF est obligatoire. Rien n’est précisé concernant la nature de cette VHF. Il faut en conclure qu’elle doit être adaptée au lieu de plongée pour permettre une communication efficace (VHF portable, fixe, …).
The obligations differ according to the status of the vessel.
DIVISION 240 (Plaisance)
This status is the legal status for all diving boats under 24 m, whether operated as an association or commercial.
Regarding the safety of pleasure craft (Division 240, training pleasure craft for diving vessels), appendix 240-A.1 makes aMandatory fixed VHFfrom mid-shore navigation (from 6 NM to less than 60 NM from a shelter) and request toadd a portable VHFfor offshore sailing (from 60 NM from a shelter).
DIVISION 241 (Pleasure craft <= 24 m for commercial use – NUC).
- A VHF-ASN. (art. 241-2.02)
- However, vessels with a hull length of less than 12 m operated exclusively during the day may carry only one VHF transceiver, including a portable one, insofar as communications are ensured regardless of the geographical position of the vessel on designated body of water. (art. 241-2.02)
DIVISION 219 (special case)
If you fall under this division, you should verify with the appropriate authorities what radio equipment is required.
It depends on your navigation area, the territory concerned (mainland or overseas departments, territories and communities) and your category of armament (4th, 5th).
In all cases (swimming pool, quarry, lake, river, sea departure from the edge or boat, …)
A means of communication making it possible to quickly alert the emergency services must be available.
At sea, aboard a boat belonging to division 240 (pleasure <= 24 m)
Navigation at most 6 NM from a shelter:VHF.
Navigation of 6 NM less than 60 NM from a shelter (mid-shore):Fixed VHF.
At sea aboard a boat belonging to division 241 (NUC <= 24 m)
Except for vessels less than 12 m operated exclusively by the day, which may only carry a VHF*, including a portable one.
* Note that most fixed VHFs currently on sale are VHF-DSC.
NM: Nautical Mile (=1,852 m).
© Extract fromPleasure Diving booksby Alain Foret at Editions GAP.
Any reproduction prohibited on any medium whatsoever without the written consent of the publisher and the author.