This notice has been issued on December 20th, 2022.
Noting that the false distress alerts activated from VHF DSC, MF/HF DSC, recognized ship earth station (SES), and EPIRBs may impose a considerable and unnecessary burden on Rescue Coordination Centers (RCCs) and on national exchequer by engaging search and rescue (SAR) authorities for carrying out SAR operation, and it could have a potentially serious impact on real distress situations and safety of life at sea. It also has an adverse effect on seafarer's confidence in the GMDSS.
In this regard, the Directorate General of Shipping had issued several merchant shipping notices and circulars from time to time to avoid transmission, repetition, and relay of false distress alerts in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
Recalling the amendments to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) as adopted through IMO resolution MSC.496(105), and recognizing the need to revise and update the Guidelines for the avoidance of false distress alerts as indicated in the IMO resolution A-814(19), the IMO has issued "Revised Guidelines for the avoidance of False Distress Alerts" through the Resolution MSC.514(105) dated 28 April 2022.
Considering that, the transmission and relay of false distress alerts is a significant problem within the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), the World Radiocommunication Conference has issued "Operational procedures for canceling false distress alerts through the Resolution 349 (WRC-19) in November 2019.
Having realized the serious implications of false distress alerts and with an aim to reduce false alerts, the Directorate General of Shipping brings these revised Guidelines and procedures to the attention of all Ship owners, Ship operators, Ship masters, Seafarers, Training Institutions, Faculties, and other maritime institutions.
This Merchant Shipping Notice supersedes all previous notices and circulars on the above subject.