Onderwerp: Bezoek-historie

803 Participation of Non-Solas ships in the Global Maritime Distress And Safety System (GMDSS)
Geldigheid:09-06-1997 t/m Status: Geldig vandaag

Dit onderwerp bevat de volgende rubrieken.

1 In the context of MSC/Circ.682 on Implementation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) on board all ships, the Maritime Safety Committee, at its sixty-eighth session (28 May to 6 June 1997), approved:
  1. Guidelines for the participation of non-SOLAS ships in the GMDSS, given in annex 1; and
  2. a Guidance on the development of training materials for GMDSS operators on non-SOLAS ships, given in annex 2.

2 The guidelines are intended to assist Administrations which may wish to develop national measures aimed at providing a link between the GMDSS and ships to which chapter IV of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended in 1988, and chapter IV of the 1978 STCW Convention, as amended in 1995, do not apply (herein referred to as "non-SOLAS ships").

3 Member Governments are invited to apply the Guidelines, given in annex 1, to non-SOLAS ships in so far as the they deem reasonable and practicable.

4 Member Governments are also invited to take into consideration the Guidance, given in annex 2, for developing training materials for GMDSS operators on non-SOLAS ships.

Annex I Guidelines for the participation of Non-Solas ships in the GMDSS

1 It should be noted that until the full implementation of the GMDSS on 1 February 1999, SOLAS ships should:
  • maintain a continuous watch on the radiotelephone distress frequencies 2,182 kHz and 156.8 MHz; and
  • maintain a capability to transmit the radiotelephone alarm signal on 2,182 kHz.

2 The following functional requirements of the GMDSS are considered appropriate to allow effective participation of non-SOLAS ships in the GMDSS with respect to distress and safety communications:
  1. to provide safety for own ship:
    .1.1  performing ship-to-shore distress alerting;
    .1.2  transmitting ship-to-ship distress alerting;
    .1.3  transmitting and receiving on-scene communications including appropriate SAR co-ordinating communications; and
    .1.4  transmitting locating signals;
  2. to assist other ships in distress:
    .2.1  receiving shore-to-ship distress alerting; and
    .2.2  receiving ship-to-ship distress alerting.

3 If a non-SOLAS ship carries voluntarily, for its own particular reasons, DSC equipment with a radiotelephone capability operating on GMDSS frequencies or an Inmarsat ship earth station (SES), such equipment can be utilized to perform most of the functions described above.

4 The use of cellular telephones is not recommended as an alternative to marine radiotelephones for distress and safety communications. Cellular telephones do not have an all stations capability to establish communications with nearby ships. Also, RCCs will be unable to call ships in the vicinity of a casualty.
Furthermore, coverage limitations could well lead to a breakdown in communications in a distress situation.

5 It is recommended that non-SOLAS ships operating in high sea areas should carry a satellite EPIRB which could be free-floating or manually activated.

6 It is further recommended that non-SOLAS ships should carry equipment for general radiotelephone communications operating in radio systems appropriate to their areas of operation.*

7 In performing the functional requirement of transmitting locating signals note should be taken that the 9 GHz SAR radar transponder will be the main means to fulfil this requirement in the GMDSS.

8 Provision should be made for the reception of navigational warnings and meteorological forecasts and warnings and urgent safety information, depending on the sea area in which the ship is sailing* and the services available in that area, e.g. NAVTEX, SafetyNET and radiotelephony broadcasts.

9 Ship Identities (MMSI, Call Sign, Serial Number, etc.) for non-SOLAS ships should be reported to the ITU, if appropriate, and maintained in a registration database available on a 24-hour basis.

* "Sea area A1" an area within the radiotelephone coverage of at least one VHF coast station in which continuous digital selective calling (DSC) alerting is available, as may be defined by a Contracting Government;
"Sea Area A2" an area, excluding sea area A1, within the radiotelephone coverage of at least one MF coast station in which continuous DSC alerting is available, as may be defined by a Contracting Government;
"Sea area A3" an area, excluding sea areas A1 and A2, within the coverage of an Inmarsat geostationary satellite in which continuous alerting is available; and "Sea area A4" an area outside sea areas A1, A2 and A3.

Annex II Guidance on the development of trainig materials for GMDSS operators on Non-Solas ships

1 The following guidance for the development of training materials for GMDSS operations is offered to:
  1. promote the development and availability of training materials for operators on ships not subject to SOLAS or other IMO Conventions using the GMDSS;
  2. encourage operators to use these materials to become familiar with the GMDSS, proper operation of the relevant sub-systems and means to avoid inadvertent activation of distress alerts; and
  3. encourage the use of existing materials developed for training operators aboard GMDSS ships as well as computer-based training aids where available.

2 In general, the manufacturer of radio equipment is best suited to develop effective general operating instructions for its own equipment. These are usually contained in an operating manual or technical manual packaged with the equipment. Professional communicators using this equipment for the first time need only a few hints to attain skill in using the new equipment; however, other users may need to study the manual carefully and still may not attain skill until having practised with the equipment, or having been shown how to operate the radio by another mariner who has experience with that equipment.
Manufacturers should ensure that manuals prepared for GMDSS sub-system equipment have sufficient information to permit non-professional communication users to be able to operate the equipment effectively and to avoid inadvertent activation of distress alerts.

Sales and service facilities

3 Manufacturer's representatives should, as necessary, help to provide the user with basic instruction. One way is to have the customer view a video showing proper operation of the equipment which should be developed by the manufacturer. Another is to have a mock-up or actual installation available for the customer to use with supervision. Both of these could give the potential GMDSS user sufficient familiarity and confidence with using the equipment to avoid misuse.

Voluntary organizations

4 Sailing clubs, coastguard auxiliary and other maritime volunteer organizations in co-operation with competent authorities should develop seminars on the GMDSS sub-systems as part of regularly scheduled events. These should highlight the general concepts of the GMDSS and the importance to maritime safety of proper operation. They could also highlight examples of misuses and focus on do's and don'ts for ensuring their safety while at sea.

Regulatory authorities

5 Authorities responsible for maritime safety, search and rescue and licensing of the GMDSS radio sub-systems should strongly advocate the following measures in order to preserve the integrity of the GMDSS and enhance its effectiveness in meeting the safety needs of non-Convention ships:
  1. promote the development of short, affordable and easy to understand training materials, including videos, posters, short manuals and information on detailed GMDSS training materials;
  2. ensure, in-so-far-as-possible, that every operator of the GMDSS sub-systems has adequate training and skills for the proper use of the equipment by advocating suitable training, including competency testing, prior to use of the equipment;
  3. advocate that continuous watch be maintained on the GMDSS sub-systems while underway; and
  4. advocate that two-way GMDSS sub-systems capable of transmitting an automatic alert including position ensure that the position is current by using an integral or connected electronic position-fixing equipment or manually updating the position at frequent intervals.
Equipment applicable to non-SOLAS ships and pleasure craft on domestic coastal voyages

Satellite EPIRBs

6 A minimal description of what happens when this device is activated should be covered as well as some common failures which have been noted, e.g., improper use of lanyards, etc. Training should include proper installation for floating free (in cases where non-float free units are installed, it must be pointed out that accessibility and ease of removal are critical) and measures to avoid false alerts. It should also emphasize that the EPIRB is the system of last resort and should only be activated when all other systems fail. Testing procedures should be covered and finally, the importance of registering the beacon should be emphasized. Two possible systems are approved for use in the GMDSS, the COSPAS-SARSAT polar orbiting satellite system operating on 406 MHz and the Inmarsat-E geostationary satellite system operating in L-band. The features of each system should be covered even if a vessel only has one of the systems.


7 Correct calling procedures to nearby vessels, shore stations for public correspondence, and to coast guard or other rescue authorities should be explained. Cautions should be explained and correct procedures emphasized relating to acknowledgement of alerts from other ships. The importance should also be emphasized of having the vessel's identification registered with the responsible authorities and having its navigation equipment (if available) interfaced to the DSC so that an accurate position is part of any distress or safety call. Administrations should consider requiring a minimum DSC capability for all VHF radios as part of their type approval and type acceptance requirements. As DSC shore installations are sparse in most of the world, this system has not been widely implemented by non-Convention ships.
However, this is one of the vital systems for ship-to-ship alerting. Therefore, since many ships will either need to call another ship or be called to assist another ship, it is critical that they be familiar with the use of this system. Topics to cover should be basic operation of the VHF radio and how DSC acts as an automated watch. The importance of maintaining the watch (keeping the radio on and tuned to channel 70) should be emphasized.


8 This system is designed to provide marine safety broadcasts and distress information relevant to a limited area, generally less than 300 nm from the NAVTEX coast station. Messages are numbered and repeated for several subsequent broadcast periods. Stations maintain a co-ordinated broadcast schedule and broadcast priority information such as distress information on an urgent basis. The receiver will ignore repetitions of broadcasts which it has already copied. The receiver is also designed to sound an alarm upon receipt of an urgent transmission. This is perhaps the most useful and affordable of all the GMDSS sub-systems to non-SOLAS ships. Users must be taught how to avoid receiving duplications of old messages, how to limit the area of concern and the importance of keeping the receiver turned on. They must be familiar with basic information on how the system works, its intended function and proper operation to take maximum advantage of this system.

Equipment applicable to non-SOLAS ships and pleasure craft operating on deep sea voyages

Inmarsat or other satellite ship earth station

9 Many non-SOLAS ships are voluntarily fitting terminals of Inmarsat-C and M systems. In some areas alternative mobile-satellite systems are offering services to non-Convention ships using the GMDSS frequencies although on a limited and restricted basis. Users of these systems must know how best to use them for effective and efficient communication including during distress incidents. As a minimum, users should know how GMDSS services are provided to meet marine safety information dissemination requirements, distress alerting and communication in the ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship directions. Many small commercial vessels and, to a greater extent, pleasure yachts, are fitting satellite communication equipment including Inmarsat-C and M systems. Users of this equipment should understand the limitations of its use for distress and safety and be encouraged to follow up any distress alert message with additional information, particularly information concerning the severity of the situation, best known location, number of persons on board, visual description and shore contact person. Vessels fitting Inmarsat-C with EGC can receive SafetyNET broadcasts and limit the receipt of this type of information to relevant sea areas of immediate concern.

Other Inmarsat systems: Inmarsat-A and B

10 Users of Inmarsat-A and B systems need only a minimum of training and practice to become proficient as these two systems are nearly equivalent to the shore-side public telephone systems.
After initial log on, the user simply dials a telephone number. In distress situations, a priority mode is available which rings through directly to the rescue authority associated with the coast earth station. When the call is answered a voice communication is established. Topics to cover are the basic operation, distress alerting and communication procedures and cautions against inadvertent activation of the priority mode to prevent false alerts.


11 Most small commercial and pleasure craft will probably not need these systems except in rare cases. Nonetheless, some basic operational instructions should be available including how these are to be used for distress alerting (ship-to-shore), establishing a voice or NBDP circuit, and receiving notifications of distress situations in their immediate vicinity. The frequencies for distress alerting, distress voice traffic and NBDP traffic should be covered as well as the necessity to guard the distress alerting channel in the 8 MHz band.
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