Although the Loch is viewed by some as a safe Inland Waterway, the Loch can still be a very dangerous place. In the summer months in the southern part of the Loch you will always be within sight of someone who may come to your aid, in the Winter or in the Northern part of the Loch you may not be so lucky. There are usually several boating / water emergencies each year. The Loch on average claims three lives each year, admittedly not all boating related.
Mobile phones on the Vodaphone, O2, T-Mobile, and Orange networks will work to some degree but mostly south of Luss, the best at the time of writing is O2 as they have a mast at Ardlui.
It would therefore be prudent to have a hand-held or fixed VHF Marine Radio for Emergency purposes on board. Just because the Loch is an Inland Waterway doesn't mean that you don't need a license for your radio, you MUST have a valid operators license and valid license for your vessel. You can gain a vessel license without an operators license, Ship Radio Licence Information Sheet for more details. The operators test is a simple one and is usually coupled with a days training costing around £70. (Seatrek is a local licensed training and examination centre).
The Park Authority Water Borne Rangers monitor channel 16 and 37A(M), (When they are on the water), (Please Note: There is limited or no monitoring in winter or the evenings).
Clyde Coastguard can also be contacted on channel 16 and if you have a newer DSC VHF set on MSI: 002320022.
Weather and navigational warnings for the Clyde Estuary can sometimes be heard , an announcement will be made on Channel 16 indicating the channel, with the broadcast being made on 10,23,73,84 or 86 as indicated.
Routine A Local Inshore Forecast - (within 12 miles of the coast);Strong Wind Warnings when appropriate - (force 6 and above for the coastal waters out to 5 miles offshore);Gale (Storm) Warnings: Navigational.
Routine A - Every 4 hours per station starting at: 00:20 UTC
Routine B Twice Daily per station starting at: 08:20 UTC
It has also been known in cases of emergency for the Opps rooms at Faslane Submarine Base, (Fosney Opps Call Sign), to pick up Distress messages.
Disclaimer: Details shown are correct at time of writing, (10/1/03). Whilst great care has been taken into compiling this information, LochLomondNET cannot take any responsibility for the information provided. Information is given, subject to errors and omissions as a public service and in good faith. No liability will be accepted under any circumstances.
Emergency Numbers & Contacts
Park Authority Water Borne Rangers Channels 16 & M (37A)
Park Authority Headquarters 01389 722600
Loch Lomond Rescue Boat call 999
Clyde Coastguard Channel 16
Cameron House Marina Channel 80
Dumbarton 01389 822000
Alexandria 01389 752433
Arrochar 01301 702220
Balfron 01360 440220
Drymen 01360 660300
Vale of Leven Hospital 01389 754121