Global Maritime Distress, Safety System Set For Implementation Next Year

The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) is scheduled to be implemented on February 1,1992. The basis of the system is that rescue authorities ashore, as well as shipping in the immediate vicinity of any ship in distress, be informed of the distress incident and be able to assist in a coordinated rescue operation.

Operationally, the oceans of the world have been divided into four areas based on the coverage of maritime communications satellites.

Depending upon which of the four areas a vessel operates, and based on the miles from shore, compliance for existing as well as new vessels will require the installation of various equipment. This includes radiotelephones, survival-craft radar transponders and satellite-compatible emergency position-indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs).

The system will be coordinated by a designated rescue coordination center (RCC) which will be informed of any alert, either through the INMARSAT or the COSPASSARSAT maritime communication satellite systems, or from coastal radio stations.

Owners of existing cargo ships of 300 gross tons or more have until February 1,1999 to comply with all applicable requirements of this safety system, and every ship constructed on or after February 1,1995 must comply with all applicable requirements.

For further information, call Ralph Pardo of ABS Regulatory Affairs at (201) 712-5289.

Other stories from November 1991 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.