Scuba Shack is stocking the Nautilus Lifeline marine radio in the store and quite a few of our instructors have taken the radio on dive trips offshore. The radio is a pretty simple device that does require attention since it is battery-powered and has quite a few features that you may forget if you pull it out and have not used the radio in awhile.
Just like any other piece of dive equipment, the radio needs to be cleaned and maintained, but there is no annual service required. The company provides firmware updates to registered users and has provided us with very good service during the year we’ve been diving with the radio.
The radio is priced under $300 and now available in a variety of colors.
Below, you’ll find a short video explaining the simple operations of the Nautilus Lifeline radio. From Scuba Gear Reports…
The Nautilus Lifeline is a handheld VHF radio complete with GPS (Global Positioning System). It’s waterproof to 425 feet when the top lid is closed, and splash-proof when the lid is open. This means you can take the unit along with you on your dive; if you surface and find you need help, it will be strapped to your BC, ready to render assistance.
The Nautilus Lifeline works like many handheld marine radios, but with more simplified controls, making it easy for anyone to operate. There are two transmit buttons used for voice communication. One is called the “Chat” button, which you set to a non-emergency VHF channel, preferably the channel your dive boat monitors. This button is colored green. The other transmit button is colored orange and is called the “Hail + Distress” button. This button is pre-set to Channel 16, the international hail and distress channel that is monitored by all vessels, but especially the Coast Guard.
A third red button, called the “Lifeline” button, allows you to transmit a digital distress message that includes your GPS coordinates. This Lifeline button is a bonafide Distress Mode and is used for emergencies only. It uses Digital Selective Calling (DSC), an advanced, computerized form of digitized VHF radio communication designed specifically for marine use. With this system, when a distress call is made, your identification and exact location is automatically transmitted to the Coast Guard and to other vessels in the area. This feature requires that you pre-register your Radio/GPS with a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number, which is free and can be done online. This unique number allows rescue authorities to know exactly who is in distress and supplies them with emergency contact information.