Frequently Asked Questions

What is the range of your station?
Northland Radio is a regional maritime station rather than a New Zealand centric operation.

I routinely talk to vessels up to 5000nm away from my transmission site in Russell, New Zealand.

ZMH292 has multiple antenna systems designed for working vessels in these areas:

  • Coastal New Zealand
  • Tasman Sea, Coral Sea
  • South Pacific Islands (including Pitcairn, Easter Island)
  • Mexico / Panama / Galapagos to French Polynesia
When are you on watch?
I am ONLY listening if you have filed a Float Plan with Northland Radio!

Once you depart port, I endeavour to be on watch every day until you make landfall.

In the unlikely event this is not possible, I will hand you over to a government coast station to take your daily reports.
Do I need to check in every day?
Yes! The purpose of the daily check in service is to track the passage of your vessel and confirm you and your crew are safe and well.

If you don’t check in, that triggers a process here that could lead to an unnecessary search for you.

At the very least I am listening for your call when I could be doing other things. Please be respectful of my time.

What happens if I miss a check in?
I make an assessment as to whether you may be in trouble or not.

If I suspect you may be in difficulty or will be soon, then I will notify the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) for the NavArea you are transiting that you have missed a check in. They will decide what action (if any) to take next.

I provide RCC with all of the data you provide in your trip report filed before departure.

I consider a lot of factors when making this assessment including whether your vessel is single handed, weather conditions at the time and predicted for the next 24 hours, and the status reported on your previous check in.

If you miss two consecutive check ins, then the likelihood of me informing the RCC increases significantly. If you miss three check ins, I will will automatically notify the RCC.
Which frequency do I call on?
When you file a Float Plan, I will email you a schedule with the best times and frequencies based on your location. They may be different to the Watch Schedule published on this web site.

The schedule will have a primary and a secondary frequency and time. Always try the primary first, as it is calculated to be the most reliable.

If you are unable to make contact on any frequency at the times in the schedule, please send email to or telephone +64 21 279 4995.
Why do I need to file a Float Plan?
Your Float Plan tells me which days to be listening for you. Without a Float Plan, I may miss your calls.

The Float Plan also contains valuable data that I would pass to the Rescue Coordination Centre in the event you need assistance at sea.
How do I file a Float Plan?
Unfortunately you cannot file a float plan a this time as my station is off watch.
If you are well connected to the Internet, please use the Float Plan Form on this web site.

Alternatively if you are at sea, you can send email to or telephone +64 21 279 4995.
Are there any fees for your service?
Northland Radio is a free of charge service.

At the end of your passage I invite you to consider making a donation towards my operating costs.

Donations help pay for radio license fees, electricity, and fuel for the standby generator.