4.2. Distress and safety communications (non-gmdss)

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1 REPUBLIC OF THE UNION OF MYANMAR MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY UNION MINISTER'S OFFICE Annex C-2: Distress and Safety Communications Frequencies

2 4.1. Introduction In this chapter all distress and safety communicatios frequencies will be presented according to RR APS13 and APS15 for non-gmdss (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) and GMDSS co mmunications respectively. The detailed provisions and operational procedures can be found in Article S31 to S34 of Radio Regulation Distress and safety communications (non-gmdss) Frequencies for distress and safety A 500 khz The frequency 500 khz is the international distress frequency for Morse telegraphy (see also chapter 2, S5.82); it shall be used for this purpose by ship, aircraft and survival craft stations which employ Morse telegraphy on frequencies in the bands between 415 khz and 535 khz when requesting assistance from the maritime services. It shall be used for the distress call and distress traffic, for the urgency signal and urgency messages, for the safety signal and, outside regions of heavy traffic, for short safety messages. When practicable, safety messages shall be transmitted on the working frequency after a p reliminary announcement on 500 khz (see also No. S52.38). For distress and safety purposes, the classes of emission to be used on 500 khz shall be A2A, A2B, H2A or H2B (see also 4.2.3, A and Annex 4.1). However, ship and aircraft stations which cannot transmit on 500 khz should use any other available frequency on which attention might be attracted. B 518 khz In the maritime mobile service, the frequency 518 khz is used exclusively for the transmission by coast stations of meteorological and navigational warnings and urgent information to ships, by means of narrow-band direct-printing telegraphy using the international NAVTEX system. C khz The carrier frequency khz is an international distress frequency for radiotelephony (see also chapter 2, S5.108 and S5.111); it shall be used for this purpose by ship, aircraft and survival craft stations and by emergency position-indicating radiobeacons using frequencies in the authorized bands between khz and khz when requesting assistance from the maritime services. It is used for distress calls and distress traffic, for signals of emergency position-indicating radiobeacons, for the urgency signal and urgency messages and for the safety signal. Safety messages shall be transmitted, where practicable, on a working frequency after a preliminary announcement on khz. The class of emission to be used for radiotelephony on the frequency khz shall be J3E. The class of emission to be used by emergency position-indicating radiobeacons shall be A2A (or A2B) or H2A (or H2B), with a depth of modulation between 30 and 90 %. Distress traffic on khz following the reception of a distress call using digital selective calling should take into account that some shipping in the vicinity may not be able to receive this traffic. This frequency is also a GMDSS frequency (see also Annex 4.1) If a distress message on the carrier frequency khz has not been acknowledged, the radiotelephone alarm signal, whenever possible followed by the distress call and message, may be transmitted again on a carrier frequency of khz or khz, as appropriate (see E and G in section and C in section 4.2.3). However, ship and aircraft stations which can transmit neither on the carrier frequency khz nor, on the carrier frequencies khz or khz, should use any other available frequency on which attention might be attracted. Any coast station using the carrier f requency khz for distress purposes shall be able to transmit the radiotelephone alarm signal. This alarm signal consists of two substantially sinusoidal audio frequency tones transmitted alternately. One tone shall have a frequency of Hz and the other a frequency of Hz, the duration of each tone being 250 ms. In addition, any coast station authorized to send navigational warnings should be able to tran smit the navigational warning signal. This warning signal consists of one substantially sinusoidal tone of the frequency Hz, interrupted so that the durations of tone and space are 250 ms each. D khz The aeronautical carrier (reference) frequency khz may be used for intercommunication between mobile stations when they are en gaged in coordinated search and rescue operations, and for communication between these stations and participating land stations, in accordance with the provisions of RR APS27 (see chapter 2, S5.111 and S5.115). B-1

3 E khz The carrier f requency khz is used to supplement the carrier frequency khz for distress and safety purposes and for call an d reply (see also chapter 2, S5.130). This frequency is also used for distress and safety traffic by radiotelephony. In addition the carrier frequency khz may be used by aircraft stations to communicate with stations of the maritime mobile service for distress and safety purposes, including search and rescue (see RR APS13, Part A1 9, 9 a) and 9 b)). Also, this frequency is a GMDSS frequency. F khz The aeronautical carrier (reference) frequency khz may be used for intercommunication between mobile stations when they are en gaged in coordinated search and rescue operations, and for communication between these stations and participating land stations (see also chapter 2, S5.111 and S5.115). G khz The carrier frequency khz is used to supplement the carrier frequency khz for distress and safety purposes and for call and reply (see also chapter 2, S5.130). This frequency is also used for distress and safety traffic by radiotelephony (see also section 4.3 and Annex 4.1). H khz The frequency khz is designated for use by survival craft stations if they are equipped to transmit on frequencies in the bands between khz and khz and if they wish to establish communications relating to search and rescue operations with stations of the maritime and aeronautical mobile services (see chapter 2, S5.111 and Annex 4.1). I MHz and MHz The aeronautical emergency frequency MHz 5 is used for the purposes of distress and urgency for radiotelephony by stations of the aeronautical mobile service using frequencies in the band between MHz and 136 MHz (137 MHz after 1 January 1990). This frequency may also be used for these purposes in survival craft stations and emergency positionindicating radiobeacons. The aeronautical auxiliary frequency MHz, which is auxiliary to the aeronautical emergency frequency MHz, is for use by stations of the aeronautical mobile service and by other mobile and land stations engaged in coordinated search and rescue operations (see chapter 2, S5.200). Mobile stations of the maritime mobile service may communicate with stations of the aeronautical mobile service on the aeronautical emergency frequency MHz for the purposes of distress and urgency only, and on the aeronautical auxiliary frequency MHz for coordinated search and rescue operations, using class A3E emissions for both frequencies (see also chapter 2, S5.111 and S5.200). They shall then comply with any special arrangements between the governments concerned by which the aeronautical mobile service is regulated. J MHz The frequency MHz may be u sed for communication between ship stations and aircraft stations, using G3E emission, engaged in coordinated search and rescue operations. It may also be used by aircraft stations to communicate with ship stations for other safety purposes. In addition, as explained in APS18, note f, this frequency (see also RR S51.79) may also be u sed for communication between ship stations and aircraft stations engaged in coordinated search and rescue operations. Ship stations shall avoid harmful interference to such communications on channel 06 (of maritime mobile VHF band) as well as to communications between aircraft stations, ice-breakers and assisted ships during ice seasons. K MHz The frequency MHz is used for ship-to-ship communications relating to the safety of navigation. It may also be used for the ship movement and port operations service, as channel 13 of maritime mobile VHF band, subject to the national regulations of the administrations concerned. L MHz The frequency MHz is the international distress, safety and calling frequency for radiotelephony for stations of the maritime mobile service when they use frequencies in the authorized bands between 156 MHz an d 174 MHz (s ee also chapter 2, S5.111 and S5.226). It is used for the distress signal, the distress call and distress traffic, as well as for the urgency signal, urgency traffic and the safety signal (see also L in this section). Safety messages shall be transmitted where practicable on a working frequency after a preliminary announcement on MH z (see ITU-R Recommendation M and also Annex 4.1). H owever, ship stations which cannot transmit on MHz should use any other available 5 Normally aircraft stations transmit distress and urgency messages on the working frequency in use at the time of the distress or urgency incident. B-2

4 frequency on which attention might be attracted. The frequency MHz may be used by aircraft stations for safety purposes only. M 243 MHz The carrier frequency 243 MHz may be u sed, in accordance with the procedures in force for terrestrial radiocommunication services, for search and rescue operations concerning manned space vehicles. This frequency may also be used by survival craft stations and equipment used for survival purposes. N MHz band The frequency band MHz is used exclusively by satellite emergency position-indicating radiobeacons in the Earth-to-space direction (see chapter 2, S5.266). O MHz band Use of the band MHz (space-to-earth) is limited to distress and safety operations (see chapter 2, S5.356); including: a) feeder links of satellites needed to relay the emissions of satellite emergency position-indicating radiobeacons to earth stations; b) narrow-band (space-to-earth) links from space stations to mobile stations. P MHz band Use of the band MHz (Earth -to-space) is limited to dis tress and safety operations (see chapter 2, S5.375); including: a) transmissions from satellite EPIRBs; b) relay of distress alerts received by satellites in low polar earth orbits to geostationary satellites. Q Aircraft in distress Any aircraft in distress shall transmit the distress call on the frequency on which watch is kept by the land or mobile stations capable of helping it. When the call is in tended for stations in the maritime mobile service, and ship stations cannot transmit on any authorized frequency, should use any other available frequency on which attention might be attracted. R Survival craft stations Equipment provided for use in survival craft stations shall, if capable of operating on any frequency: a) in the authorized bands between 415 khz and khz, be able to transmit with a carrier frequency of 500 khz using either class A2A and A2B 1 or H2A and H2B 1 emissions. If a receiver is provided for any of these bands, it shall be able to receive class A2A and H2A emissions on a carrier frequency of 500 khz; b) in the bands between khz and khz, be able to transmit with a carrier frequency of khz using class A3E or H3E em issions. If a receiv er is provided for any of these bands, it s hall be able to receive class A3E and H3E emissions on a carrier frequency of khz; c) in the bands between khz and khz, be able to transmit with a carrier frequency of khz using class A2A or H2A emissions. If a receiv er is provided for any of these bands, it s hall be able to receiv e class A1A, A2A and H2A emissions throughout the band khz; d) in the bands between MHz and 136 MHz (137 MHz after 1 January 1990), be able to transmit on MHz, using amplitude modulated emissions. If a receiver is provided for any of these bands, it shall be able to receive class A3E emissions on MHz; e) in the bands between 156 MHz and 174 MHz, be able to transmit on MHz using class G3E emissions. If a receiver is provided for any of these bands it shall be able to receive class G3E emissions on MHz; f) in the bands between 235 MHz and MHz, be able to transmit on the frequency 243 MHz Protection of Distress and Safety Frequencies A General Except as provided for in these texts, any emission capable of causing harmful interference to distress, alarm, urgency or safety communications on the frequencies 500 khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, khz, MHz, MHz, MHz or in the frequency bands MHz, MHz 1 This is to cater for the automatic reception of the radiotelegraph alarm signal. B-3

5 and MHz is prohibited. Any emission causing harmful interference to distress and safety communications on any of the other discrete frequencies identified in section 4.2 and 4.3 is prohibited. Test transmissions shall be kept to a minimum on the frequencies identified in this section (section 4.2) and should, wherever practicable, be carried out on artificial antennas or with reduced power. Moreover, it is not permitted to transmit complete alarm signals for testing purposes on any frequency except for essential tests co ordinated with the competent authorities. As an exception, such tests are p ermitted for radiotelephone equipment which can operate only on either of the international distress frequencies khz and MHz, in which case a s uitable artificial antenna shall be em ployed. Before transmitting on any of the frequencies identified in this section (section 4.2) for distress and safety, a station, except stations in distress, shall listen on the frequency concerned to make sure that no distress transmission is being sent (see ITU-R Recommendation M.1171). B 500 khz Apart from the transmissions authorized on 500 khz, and taking account of chapter 2, S52.28, all transmissions on the frequencies included between 495 khz and 505 khz are forbidden. Until 1 February 1999, this applies to frequencies between 490 khz and 510 khz. In order to facilitate the reception of distress calls, other transmissions on the frequency 500 khz shall be reduced to a minimum, and in any case shall not exceed one minute. C khz Except for transmissions authorized on the carrier frequency khz and on the frequencies khz, khz, khz and khz, all transmissions on the frequencies between khz and khz are forbidden (see also section 4.3) and to facilitate the reception of distress calls, all transmissions on khz shall be kept to a minimum. In addition, at sea it is not permitted to radiate test transmissions of the radiotelephone alarm signal on the carrier frequency khz. The function of the generator of the radiotelephone alarm signal shall be checked by aural monitoring without operating a transmitter. The transmitter shall be checked independently. During tests of the radio installation carried out by an administration or on behalf of an administration the radiotelephone alarm signal device should be checked with a suitable artificial antenna on frequencies other than khz. If the installation is capable of operating only on the frequency khz a suitable artificial antenna should be employed (see 4.2.2, A). Before and after the tests performed using an artificial antenna, a suitable announcement should be made on the test frequency that the signals are o r were for testing purposes only. The identification of the station should be included in the announcement. D MHz, MHz and 243 MHz On the frequencies MH z, MH z and 243 MH z transmissions other than those authorized are forbidden (see chapter 2, S5.111, S5.200 and S5.256 and section 4.2.1, I). In order to avoid unjustified alerts in automatic emergency systems, transmissions of non-operational test signals on the emergency frequencies MH z and 243 MH z should be coordinated with the competent authorities and carried out only during the first five minutes of each hour, with each test transmission lasting no longer than ten seconds (see 4.2.2, A). E MHz Band All emissions in the band MHz capable of causing harmful interference to the authorized transmissions of stations of the maritime mobile service on MHz are forbidden. To facilitate the reception of distress calls all transmissions on MHz shall be kept to a minimum and shall not exceed one minute Watch on distress frequencies A 500 khz In order to increase the safety of life at sea and over the sea, all statio ns of the maritime mobile service normally keeping watch on frequencies in the authorized bands between 415 khz and khz which employ Morse telegraphy shall, during their hours of service, take the necessary measures to ensure watch on the international distress frequency 500 khz for three minutes twice an hour beginning at x h 1 5 and x h 4 5, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), by an operator using headphones or loudspeaker (see also Annex 4.1). There is just one exclusion, above action does not apply to a coast station open to public correspondence when its operational area for distress purposes is covered by one or more coast stations keeping watch on 500 khz in accordance with an agreement between the administrations concerned. These administrations shall inform the Secretary-General of the details of such agreements for publication in the List of Coast Stations (see RR Article S20). During the periods mentioned above, except for the emissions provided for in 4.2 on the frequency 500 khz: a) transmissions shall cease in the band between 490 khz and 510 khz. From 1 February 1999, this band is reduced to the band between 495 khz and 505 khz; b) outside these bands, transmissions of stations of the mobile service may continue; stations of the maritime mobile service may listen to these transmissions on the express condition that they first ensure watch on the B-4

6 distress frequency as required by 19 1) (see also Annex 4.1). Moreover, stations of the maritime mobile service open to Morse telegraphy public correspondence and using frequencies in the authorized bands between 415 khz and khz shall, during their hours of service, remain on watch on 500 khz except in the above mentioned exclusion. This watch is obligatory only for class A2A and H2A emissions (see also Annex 4.1). These stations, while observing the above watching provisions, are authorized to relinquish this watch only when they are engaged in communications on other frequencies. In this case: a) ship stations may maintain this watch on 500 khz by means of an operator using headphones or a loudspeaker or by some appropriate means such as an automatic alarm receiver; b) coast stations may maintain this watch on 500 khz by means of an operator using headphones or a loudspeaker; in the latter case an indication may be inserted in the List of Coast Stations. However, ship stations, while observing the the above watching provisions, are also authorized to relinquish this watch6 when it is im practical to listen by split headphones or by loudspeaker, and by order of the master in order to repair or carry out maintenance required to prevent imminent malfunction of equipment for radiocommunication used for safety; radionavigational equipment or oth er electronic navigational equipment. In this case, for decreasing missed request, ship stations fitted with an automatic alarm receiver should ensure the equipment is in operation. The provisions have been made here (under A) will remain mandatory until 1 February B khz Coast stations which are open to public correspondence and which form an essential part of the coverage of the area for distress purposes using the techniques and frequencies described in on khz should, during their hours of service, maintain a w atch on khz (see also Annex 4.1). S uch watch should be i ndicated in the List of Coast Stations. These stations should maintain this watch by means of an operator using some aural method, such as headphones, split headphones or loudspeaker. In addition, they should keep the maximum watch practicable on the carrier frequency khz for receiving by any appropriate means the radiotelephone alarm signal and the navigational warning signal described in C, as well as distress, urgency and safety signals. (See also Annex 4.1.). Also, ship stations open to public correspondence should, as far as possible during their hours of service, keep watch on khz (see also Annex 4.1). However, in order to increase the safety of life at sea an d over the sea, all statio ns of the maritime mobile service normally keeping watch on frequencies in the authorized bands between khz and khz using the techniques described in 4.2 for distress purposes should, during their hours of service, and as far as possible, take steps to keep watch on the international distress carrier frequency khz for three minutes twice each hour beginning at x h 00 and x h 30, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) (see also Annex 4.1). Such watch, in the case of coast stations, should be indicated in the List of Coast Stations. During this watch keeping periods, all transmissions in the band khz shall cease, except those on khz and khz and those provided for in 4.2.2, an d in Chapter SVII of Radio Regulation. The provisions have been made here (under B) will remain mandatory until 1 February C khz, khz, khz, khz and khz All coast stations which are open to public correspondence and which form an essential part of the coverage of the area for distress purposes may, during their hours of service, maintain a w atch on the carrier f requencies khz, khz, khz, khz and khz (see 4.2.1, E and G above, as well as Table 4.1). Such watch should be indicated in the List of Coast Stations. These stations should maintain this watch by means of an operator using some aural method, such as headphones, split headphones or loudspeaker. D MHz A coast station providing an international maritime mobile radiotelephone service in the band MHz an d which forms an essential part of the coverage of the area for distress purposes using the techniques and frequencies described in this Appendix should, during its working hours in that band, maintain an efficient aural watch on MH z (see also Appendix 4.1). Such watch should be indicated in the List of Coast Stations. Ship stations should, where practicable, maintain watch on MHz when within the service area of a coast station providing international maritime mobile radiotelephone service in the band MHz, using the techniques and frequencies described in 4.2. Ship stations fitted only with radiotelephone equipment operating in the authorized bands between 156 MHz and 174 MHz should maintain watch on MHz when at sea and, when in communication with a port station, using the techniques and frequencies described in section 4.2, may on an exceptional basis and subject to th e agreement of the administration concerned, continue to maintain watch, on the appropriate port operations frequency only, provided that watch on MHz is being maintained by the port station (see also Annex 4.1). Such watch by port stations should be indicated in the List of Coast Stations. 6 For additional information see th e relevant provisions of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended (see also Annex 4.1). B-5

7 Ship stations, when in communication with a co ast station in the ship movement service using the techniques and frequencies described in section 4.2, and subject to the agreement of the administrations concerned, may continue to maintain watch on the appropriate ship movement service frequency only, provided the watch on MHz is being maintained by the coast station (see also Annex 4.1). Such watch by coast stations in the ship movement service should be indicated in the List of Coast Stations Frequencies for distress and safety communications for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) The frequencies for distress and safety communications for the non-gmds were given in section 4.2 and under this sectio the frequencies for distress and safety communications for the GMDSS are g iven in Tables 4.1 and 4.2 for frequencies below and above 30 MHz, respectively. Frequency (khz) Description of usage Table 4.1. Frequencies below 30 MHz Notes 490 MSI The frequency 490 khz will be u sed exclusively for maritime safety information (MSI) after full implementation of the GMDSS. 518 MSI The frequency 518 khz is used exclusively by the international NAVTEX system. * NBDP-COM -- *2 182 RTP-COM The frequency khz uses class of emission J3E. See also chapter 2, S and section 4.2. * DSC AERO-SAR The aeronautical carrier (reference) frequencies khz and khz may be used for intercommunication between mobile stations engaged in coordinated search and rescue operations, and for communication between these stations and participating land stations, in accordance with the provisions of Appendix S27 (see chapter 2, S5.111 and S5.115). *4 125 RTP-COM See also chapter 2, S and section 4.2. The carrier frequency khz may be used by aircraft stations to communicate with stations of the maritime mobile service for distress and safety purposes, including search and rescue (see chapter 2, S30.11). * NBDP-COM -- * DSC MSI The frequency khz is exclusively used for NAVTEX-type transmissions (see Resolution 339 (Rev.WRC-97)) MSI-HF AERO-SAR See note under khz above. *6 215 RTP-COM See also chapter 2, S and section 4.2. *6 268 NBDP-COM -- *6 312 DSC MSI-HF -- *8 291 RTP-COM -- B-6

8 Frequency (khz) Description of usage Table 4.1. Frequencies below 30 MHz(end) Notes * NBDP-COM -- * DSC MSI-HF -- * RTP-COM -- * NBDP-COM -- * DSC MSI-HF -- * RTP-COM -- * NBDP-COM -- * DSC MSI-HF MSI-HF MSI-HF MSI-HF -- Frequency (MHz) Description of usage Table 4.2. Frequencies above 30 MHz (VHF/UHF) Notes *121.5 AERO-SAR The aeronautical emergency frequency MHz is used for the purposes of distress and urgency for radiotelephony by stations of the aeronautical mobile service using frequencies in the band between MHz and 137 MHz. This frequency may also be used for these purposes by survival craft stations. Emergency position-indicating radio beacon s use the frequency MHz as indicated in Recommendation ITU-R M Mobile stations of the maritime mobile service may communicate with stations of the aeronautical mobile service on the aeronautical emergency frequency MHz for the purposes of distress and urgency only, and on the aeronautical auxiliary frequency MHz f or coordinated search and rescue operations, using class A3E emissions for both frequencies (see also chapter 2, S5.111 and S5.200). They shall then comply with any special arrangement between governments concerned by which the aeronautical mobile service is regulated AERO-SAR The aeronautical auxiliary frequency MHz, w hich is auxiliary to th e aeronautical emergency frequency MH z, is for use by stations of the aeronautical mobile service and by other mobile and land stations engaged in coordinated search and rescue operations (see also chapter 2, S5.200). Mobile stations of the maritime mobile service may communicate with stations of the aeronautical mobile service on the aeronautical emergency frequency MHz for the purposes of distress and urgency only, and on the aeronautical auxiliary frequency MHz f or coordinated search and rescue operations, using class A3E emissions for both frequencies (see also chapter 2, S5.111 and S5.200). They shall then comply with any special arrangement between governments concerned by which the aeronautical mobile service is regulated VHF-CH06 The frequency MH z may be u sed for communication between ship stations and aircraft stations engaged in coordinated search and rescue operations. It may also be used by aircraft stations to communicate with ship stations for other safety purposes. The frequency MHz (channel 06) may also be used for communication between ship stations and aircraft stations engaged in coordinated search and rescue operations. B-7

9 Frequency (MHz) Descriptio n of usage Table 4.2 Frequencies above 30 MHz (VHF/UHF)(end) Notes * VHF-CH70 The frequency MHz is used in the maritime mobile service for distress and safety calls using digital selective calling (see also chapter 2, S5.227, RR S30.2 and RR S30.3) VHF-CH13 The frequency MHz is used for ship-to-ship communications relating to the safety of navigation. It may also be used for the ship movement and port operations service subject to the national regulations of the administrations concerned. *156.8 VHF-CH16 The frequency MH z is used for distress and safety communications by radiotelephony (see also section 4.2). A dditionally, the frequency MHz may be used by aircraft stations for safety purposes only. * EPIRB This frequency band is used exclusively by satellite emergency positionindicating radio beacons in the Earth-to-space direction (see chapter 2, S5.266) SAT-COM In addition to its availability for routine non-safety purposes, the band MHz is used for distress and safety purposes in the space-to-earth direction in the maritime mobile-satellite service. GMDSS distress, urgency and safety communications have priority in this band (see chapter 2, S5.353A). * D&S-OPS Use of the band MHz (s pace-to-earth) is limited to distress and safety operations (see chapter 2, S5.356), including feeder links of satellites needed to relay the emissions of satellite em ergency position-indicating radio beacons to earth stations and narrow-band (space-to-earth) links from space stations to mobile stations * SAT-COM In addition to its availability for routine non-safety purposes, the band MHz is used for distress and safety purposes in the Earth-to-space direction in the maritime mobile-satellite service. GMDSS distress, urgency and safety communications have priority in this band (see chapter 2, S5.353A). D&S-OPS Use of the band MHz (Earth-to-space) is limited to distress and safety operations (see chapter 2, S5.375), including transmissions from satellite EPIRBs and relay of distress alerts receiv ed by satellites in low polar Earth orbits to geostationary satellites SARTS This frequency band is used by radar tran sponders to f acilitate search and rescue. Legend: AERO-SAR These aeronautical carrier (reference) frequencies may be used for distress and safety purposes by mobile stations engaged in coordinated search and rescue operations. D&S-OPS The use of these bands is limited to distress and safety operations of satellite emergency position-indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs). SAT-COM These frequency bands are available for distress and safety purposes in the maritime mobile-satellite service (see Notes). VHF-CH# These VHF frequencies are used for distress and safety purposes. The channel number (CH#) refers to the VHF channel as listed in chapter 5, which should also be consulted. * Except as provided in these Regulations, any emission capable of causing harmful interference to distress, alarm, urgency or safety communications on the frequencies denoted by an asterisk (*) is p rohibited. Any emission causing harmful interference to distress and safety communications on any of the discrete frequencies identified in section 4.2 and section 4.3 is prohibited. B-8

10 RESOLUTION 331 (Rev.WRC-97) Transition to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and continuation of the distress and safety provisions in Appendix S13 The World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1997), noting that the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended, prescribes that all ships subject to this Convention shall be fitted for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) by 1 February 1999, noting further a) that a number of administrations have taken steps to implement the GMDSS also for classes of vessels not subject to SOLAS, 1974, as amended; b) that an increasing number of vessels not subject to SOLAS, 1974, as amended, are making use of the techniques and frequencies of the GMDSS prescribed in Chapter SVII; c) that some administrations and vessels, not subject to SOLAS, 1974, as amended, may wish to continue to use provisions of Appendix S13 for distress and safety communications for some time after 1 February 1999; d) that it would be costly for administrations to maintain in parallel for an excessive period of time shore-based facilities necessary to support both the old and new distress and safety systems; e) that there may be a n eed to con tinue existing shore-based distress and safety services for a certain period after 1 February 1999 so that vessels not subject to SOLAS, 1974, as amended and not yet using the techniques and frequencies of the GMDSS will be able to obtain assistance from these services until such time as they are able to participate in the GMDSS; f) that separate provisions of the existing Radio Regulations designate VHF channel 16 and the frequency khz as the international channels for general calling by radiotelephony; g) that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has already decided for GMDSS vessels that: listening watches on khz will no longer be mandatory after 1 February 1999; listening watches on VHF channel 16 will be continued and that a final date for the cessation of mandatory watchkeeping on channel 16 is yet to be determined; h) that the Radio Regulations require GMDSS sh ips to keep watch on the appropriate digital selective calling (DSC) distress frequencies; i) that the Radio Regulations establish that ship stations should, when practicable, keep watch on VHF channel 13; j) that several administrations have established Vessel T raffic Service (VTS) systems and require their ships to keep watch on local VTS channels; k) that ships that are required by SOLAS to carry a rad io station are b eing equipped with DSC, b ut the majority of vessels that carry a radio station on a voluntary basis might not have DSC equipment; l) that similarly, many administrations have established distress and safety service based on DSC watchkeeping, but the majority of port stations, pilot stations and other operational coast stations have not been equipped with DSC facilities; m) that for the reasons listed above, it will remain necessary for some stations in the maritime mobile service to call each other by radiotelephony in certain situations, considering a) that the operation of the GMDSS described in Chapter SVII and the present distress and safety system described in Appendix S13 differ in many crucial aspects, such as m eans and methods of alerting, communication facilities available, announcement and transmission of maritime safety information, etc.; b) that operation of the two systems in parallel for a lo ng period would cause ever-increasing difficulties and incompatibilities between ships operating in the two different systems and may thus seriously degrade safety at sea in general; c) that the GMDSS overcomes the deficiencies of the aural watch-keeping on maritime distress and calling frequencies on which the distress and safety system described in Appendix S13 relies, by replacing these watches by automatic watch, i.e. digital selective calling and satellite communication systems, resolves B-9

11 1 that, until such time as voice calling has become obsolete, VHF channel 16 and the frequency 2182 khz may be used as voice-calling channels; 2 to urge all administrations to assist in enhancing safety at sea by: encouraging all ships to make use of the GMDSS as soon as possible; encouraging, where appropriate, establishment of suitable shore-based facilities for GMDSS, either on an individual basis or in cooperation with other relevant parties in the area; 3 that administrations may, taking account of all aspects involved, such as: decisions by IMO on aural watch on 2182 khz and VHF channel 16; the GMDSS radio systems available in the area concerned; the compatibility problems mentioned in considering a) and b) above; the density and classes of ships normally in the area; the geographical nature of the area and general navigational conditions within the area; other adequate measures taken to ensure safety communications for ships sailing in the area, at a time after 1 February 1999, when the development on transition to the GMDSS and the prevailing conditions in the area makes it reasonable to do so, release their ship stations and coast stations within the area con cerned from the obligations described in Appendix S13 on listening watch on 2182 khz or VHF channel 16 or both; when doing so, administrations should: inform IMO of their decisions and submit to IMO details on the area concerned; inform the Secretary-General on the necessary details for inclusion in the List of Coast Stations, resolves further that the Secretary-General should ensure that such arrangements and details regarding the area con cerned be in dicated in relevant maritime publications, invites the next world radiocommunication conference to include the review of this Resolution, Appendix S13 and Chapter SVII on the agenda of WRC-01, instructs the Secretary-General to communicate this Resolution to IMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), invites the Radiocommunication Study Group 8 to review the operational and procedural incompatibilities between the old and new systems with a v iew to presenting the information to WRC-01. B-10

CHAPTER VII. Distress and safety communications 1

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