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GMDSS Information- What You Need to Know

The Global maritime distress and safety system compromises of safety procedures, equipment and a set of communication protocols which makes it easier to rescue boats, ships and other air crafts in distress.

Though the system consists of many new operations there are some old operations as well which have been in use since many years. These systems play the following roles, which include

  • Giving alerts about the ship or boat in distress and determining its position and state at that current time
  • Carrying out searches and carrying out coordination’s
  • Broadcasting the maritime safety information
  • Carrying out general and bridge to bridge communications

History of GMDSS

Since the time the radio has been invented during the nineteenth century, ships have relied on radio technology to give out alerts. When the Titanic sank in 1912, it was realized that an advanced radio communication system would be required to carry out immediate help in time of distress. The Morse code radiograph equipment is sued to send out distress calls. However, the signals which the code carries is limited.

Then came the radio telegrams or radio telex which offered more broad range signal. During the 1980’s there was a boom in the use of satellite services. The Internet Maritime Organization is a United Nations agency which specializes in ship safety and preventing any sort of risks.

What kind of equipment are used for GMDSS

The following are the few equipment used for GMDSS

Emergency position indicating, radio beacon

The United States, Russia, France and Canada worked together to jointly create the Emergency position indicating radio beacon. It is now necessary for al ships to carry this equipment. This help alert the rescues systems almost anywhere in the world.

Navtex

Navtex is responsible for distributing maritime safety information. It issues navigation information and issues safety warnings to ships around the world. A small, self-contained radio can easily read signals issued by the stations spread around the world. Navtex receivers are now considered a necessity recreational vessels. This is because they can help ships identify any potential risk which they might face. The Navtex signals can help identify the following

  • Warnings regarding storms at sea
  • Ice warnings
  • Weather forecast
  • Gale warnings
  • Distress messages

The national weather service prepares a long list of daily forecasts for the GMDSS to b broadcasted y the Navtex.

SafetyNET

The safetyNET is an international system which promulgates weather forecasts and marine navigational warnings. These broadcasts can be received free of cost. The national weather service always ensures warnings are issued for broadcast for at least three different ocean areas four times a day. This may include a list of warnings, distress signals and hurricane warnings. These marine forecast rely on the voluntary observing ship program.

All the above mentioned are only few of the GMDSS equipment. These are helpful for all kinds of vessel at the sea. In fact recreational vessels would benefit from installing at least one of these systems.