8.2.1 A Preparation Service is a national Meteorological Service which has accepted responsibility for the preparation of forecasts and warnings for parts of, or an entire, designated Maritime Safety Information (MSI) area in the WMO system for the dissemination of meteorological forecasts and warnings to shipping under the GMDSS and for their transfer to the relevant Issuing Service for broadcast.
8.2.2 An Issuing Service is a national Meteorological Service which has accepted responsibility for ensuring that meteorological forecasts and warnings for shipping are disseminated through the Inmarsat and SafetyNET service to the designated area for which the Service has accepted responsibility under the broadcast requirements of the GMDSS. The Issuing Service is responsible for composing a complete broadcast bulletin on the basis of information input from the relevant Preparation Services, and for inserting the appropriate EGC header, as specified in annex 4(b) of the International SafetyNET Manual. The Issuing Service is also responsible for monitoring the broadcasts of information to its designated area of responsibility.
Preparation and issue of weather and sea bulletins
8.2.3 Weather and sea bulletins shall include, in the order given hereafter:
- Part I: Storm warnings;
- Part II: Synopsis of major features of the surface weather chart and, to the possible extent, significant characteristics of corresponding sea-surface conditions; and
- Part III: Forecasts.
8.2.4 Weather and sea bulletins may, in addition, include the following parts:
- Part IV: Analysis and/or prognosis in IAC FLEET code form;
- Part V: Selection of reports from sea stations; and
- Part VI: Selection of reports from land stations.
- The reports included in part VI should be for a fixed selection of stations in a fixed order.
- Parts IV, V and VI may be issued at a separate scheduled time.
8.2.5 For area(s) for which an Issuing Service has assumed responsibility, the Service should select the appropriate CES to service that area. In particular, the following procedures should be adopted:
- For scheduled broadcasts: These should be issued for broadcast over at least a single nominated satellite, in accordance with a pre-arranged schedule, coordinated by WMO.
- For unscheduled broadcasts: These should be issued for broadcast under the SafetyNET Service through all Inmarsat ocean region satellites covering the Issuing Service’s area of responsibility.
8.2.6 Weather and sea bulletins shall be prepared and issued at least twice daily.
8.2.7 The issue of the weather and sea bulletins shall be at a scheduled time and be in the following sequence: part I to be followed immediately by part II and then part III. A schedule of transmission start times for these bulletins has been compiled for all MSI areas and the CESs which serve the areas and takes into consideration, inter alia, the existing WMO synoptic times for observations, data analysis and forecast production. Additionally, as these broadcast schedules for the International SafetyNET Service have to be coordinated, under the aegis of WMO, with other organizations such as IHO, Issuing Services should not independently change or request WMO to arrange frequent alterations to these coordinated and published schedules.
8.2.8 Issuing Services must ensure that the correct EGC message addressing formats are adhered to for all warning and forecast messages intended for broadcast by a CES.
8.2.9 Warnings shall be given in plain language. Synopses and forecasts should be given in plain language, however some abbreviations may be used, especially when the size of the bulletin needs to be reduced for dissemination by a low bandwidth system, such as the NAVTEX Service (ref: 8.2.13).
8.2.10 Warnings, synopses and forecasts intended for the International SafetyNET and the International NAVTEX Services shall be broadcast in English.
Note: Additionally, if a national Meteorological Service wishes to issue warnings and forecasts to meet national obligations under SOLAS, broadcasts may be made in other languages. These broadcasts will be part of national SafetyNET or NAVTEX Services.
8.2.11 In order to ensure the integrity of the warnings and forecasts being received by mariners, it is essential that Issuing Services monitor the broadcasts which they originate. Monitoring is especially important in a highly automated system which is dependent on careful adherence to procedure and format. This may be accomplished by the installation of an EGC receive-capability at the Issuing Service’s facility.
Note: Each Issuing Service may use the EGC receiver to check the following:
- That the message has been broadcast;
- That the message is received correctly;
- That cancellation messages are properly executed; and
- Any unexplained delay in the message being broadcast.
8.2.12 The language of the synopsis should be as free as possible from technical phraseology.
8.2.13 The terminology in weather and sea bulletins should be in accordance with the “Multilingual list of terms used in weather and sea bulletins”, which is available in Appendix I.2 to the Manual on Marine Meteorological Services (WMO No. 558) and in Annex 2.B to the Guide to Marine Meteorological Services (WMO No. 471). Specific guidelines for the NAVTEX Service, including a list of common abbreviations for weather and sea messages, are available in Appendix II.2 to the Manual on Marine Meteorological Services (WMO No. 558). The list of common abbreviations is also given in 8.6 hereto.