It is illegal for South Africans to skipper a boat within its waters without a SAS Day Skipper’s ticket. With this certificate you are also required to be back at your local port before dark. In conjunction, and prior to obtaining your Day Skipper’s ticket, you need a SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) Short Range Radio certificate. Usually you are issued with a temporary certificate 10 days after completing the necessary exam; the permanent licence follows long after.
After completing the course you are well versed to make correct emergency transmissions, you’ll know which channels to use for which purpose and you will also be able to communicate by means of your DSC (digital selective calling) device. Besides automatically encapsulating stored information of your vessel, when linked to your GPS, it will also include your location. DSC is also handy for arranging a rendezvous channel with a friend without having to occupy one of the emergency channels.
Channels are open to anybody within range, who is then able to listen in on conversations. This, naturally places a restriction on privacy. Almost like posting in Facebook with a “public” privacy setting. I believe every country has this ominous clause written in their act of law which you will find printed in bold on my licence: “The holder made a declaration to preserve the secrecy of correspondence”. What secrets are not to be revealed is a study on its own but the resounding message is, “keep quiet”!