Marine Search and Rescue
Roberts Bank Lifeboat
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DMU Amateur Radio
The MV Roberts Bank Lifeboat is equipped with a 2m / 70cm (VHF / UHF) amateur radio with APRS. A portable HF station and Buddy Pole antenna can also be quickly set up for emergency communication purposes, and some crew members also have VHF / UHF portables. The Roberts Bank Lifeboat Station at Deltaport also maintains a VHF amateur radio station.
The term ´amateur´ reflects the principle that Amateur Radio and its skilled operators are committed to helping communities without financial compensation; whereas Commercial Radio operates purely for profit.

Most countries´ amateur radio licences allow licenced operators to install and use radio transmission equipment while at sea. Such operation is known as Maritime Mobile amateur radio. The station and vessel are also members of the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) and the Delta Amateur Radio Society (Delta ARS). We take part in communications exercises, field day, community events, and are capable of handling emergency message traffic both on and off the vessel.

The Amateur Radio Service has both a fun but also a serious face.  It is a very important emergency communications system.  When cell phones, regular phones, the internet and other systems are down or overloaded, ham radio still gets the message through.  Ham radio is a hobby - that´s the fun part, but it´s also a service - a very vital service that has saved lives again and again when regular communication systems failed. There are a multitude of examples across the years, however this was recently proven during the horrific January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, where communications were in shambles. Again this proved to be of key importance in the February 2010 earthquake in Chile, where soon after the earthquake, the Emergency Net was activated throughout the whole country, first on VHF and then on HF. Nov 2010 brought another example with the eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia and the activation of the Amateur Radio Emergency Network. In 2011 the biggest disaster to strike Japan occurred with an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear catastrophe. Amateur radio has played a very important part in establishing communications into the affected regions.

The Corporation of Delta has Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) which are activated in an emergency, including the Police and Fire Command units, and the Delta Marine Unit can communicate directly to these and field operations stations. In times of emergency there is only one highway that connects multiple districts together and is difficult to close (except when major high tension transmission towers fall into it as occurred in July 2011) - this is the Fraser River.

The following websites are of interest to both marine and landbased amateur radio operators:

Our licensed crew members are able to handle calls as required. When operational, the vessel (VA7CGR) proudly flies the marine amateur radio flag and monitors the following frequencies:
  • 147.32 + Salt Spring Island (VE7RSI)
  • 147.34 + (t. 107.2) Delta (VE7SUN)
  • 144.390 APRS

The copyright for the marine amateur radio flag design belongs to Ron Drinkwater VE7AIX, who has nothing to do with RBLS-DS.
Amateur Radio Operators Course

Are you interested in becoming an amateur radio operator? The society needs more licenced operators, and there is NO longer a requirement to learn morse code! We partner with Delta ARS to offer training, check back with us to see when the next course is offered.
Maritime Mobile on back deck during George Massey tunnel special event CG7GMT
Maritime Mobile on back deck during George Massey tunnel special event CG7GMT
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