2.1Radio personnel serving on ships should be made aware of the consequences of transmitting a distress relay call and of routeing a DSC distress relay alert to other than coast stations (CS).
2.2The number of unintended activations of DSC distress alerts and DSC distress relay alerts creates extra work load and confusion to (M)RCCs and also causing delay in the response-time. The original distress alert from a ship in distress should not be disrupted by other ships, by transmitting a DSC distress relay alert.
2.3Recommendation ITU-R M.541-8 on Operational procedures for the use of DSC equipment in the Maritime Mobile Service identifies only two situations in which a ship would transmit a distress relay call (distress relay alert):
.1 on receiving a distress alert on a HF channel, which is not acknowledged by a coast station within 5 minutes. The distress relay call should be addressed to the appropriate coast station (Annex 1
, paragraph 3.4.2 andAnnex 3
, paragraph 6.1.4); and
.2 on knowing that another ship in distress is not itself able to transmit the distress alert and the Master of the ship considers that further help is necessary. The distress relay call should be addressed to "all ships" or to the appropriate coast station (Annex 3, paragraph 1.4).
2.4In no case is a ship permitted to transmit a DSC distress relay call on receipt of a DSC distress alert on either VHF or MF channels.
2.5Distress relay calls on HF channels should be initiated manually.
2.6Compliance with operational and technical provisions above would prevent transmission of inappropriate distress relay calls.