Old system. In grade 11 you learnt about the previous maritime distress and safety system which applied to all vessels upon the high seas. According to the system: all passenger vessels and cargo vessels of 1600 gross tons and above had to maintain a continuous radio telegraphy (morse) watch on […]
In the past distress and safety relied primarily on the ship in distress alerting another ship for assistance. Now, emphasis is placed on the ability of a vessel to alert SAR authorities ashore as well as shipping in the vicinity to ensure a coordinated response. Shore based authorities now have […]
World-wide coverage is achieved by a combination of satellite and terrestrial systems. The areas are defined according to the coverage of VHF, MF and HF coast stations and Inmarsat services. The area of operations of a vessel determines the type of communications equipment it shall carry.
The areas are defined as follows: Sea area A1. The sea area within radio telephone coverage of at least one coastal VHF station in which continuous digital selective calling (DSC) alerting is available. Basically this area extends up to 50 nautical miles from the coastal station. Sea area A2. This […]
Radio watchkeeping is automatic with GMDSS. When receiving equipment is activated an operator is alerted. After this, further distress and safety communications are carried out on radio telephone or radio telegraphy (Narrow Band Direct Printing). It should be noted that the previous (specialist) telecommunications officer is now only carried aboard […]