EPIRB → Video of annual testing of Cospas-Sarsat EPIRB by Futronic Test Box

Today we will perform the annual testing of Cospas-Sarsat EPIRB as it is required by SOLAS convention. The volume and order of the tests are described in IMO Circular 1040 and we will follow it.

We need to perform electrical tests to confirm the EPIRB is operational as defined in appropriate performance standards. And for these purposes we require the suitable test equipment - EPIRB Tester. 

Fortunately, we have 3 testers today: Futronic made by Danphone, and two testers made by Musson Marine Ltd: Beacon Tester and Beacon Tester Mini.

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EPIRB → Annual testing of Cospas-Sarsat EPIRB by Futronic Test Box

Today we will perform the annual testing of Cospas-Sarsat EPIRB as it is required by SOLAS convention. The volume and order of the tests are described in IMO Circular 1040 and we will follow it.

Checking EPIRB

We have 3 testers today: Futronic made by Danphone, and two testers made by Musson Marine Ltd: Beacon Tester and Beacon Tester Mini.

The task is to measure the frequency, power level and decode Cospas-Sarsat message content.

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General → Radio Survey / Inspection

Radio survey is a set of testing services provided for a vessel to verify and confirm its readiness and safety for navigation in appropriate sea area. The condition of the ship and its equipment shall be maintained to conform with the provisions of the SOLAS regulations to ensure that the ship in all respects will remain fit to proceed to sea without danger to the ship or persons on board.

After Titanic disaster in 1912, the world’s community understood the necessity to bring maritime safety rules on international level. IMCO (Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization) gathered and elaborated the first International Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention in 1914. This convention had not luck to be applied because of World War I. In consequence, the SOLAS Convention was recast and updated in 1960 and 1974. Present days the consolidated redaction of 1974 with continuous amendments is in use.

Radio Survey

Radio Surveys should be carried out in accordance with SOLAS Convention, reference is made to the “IMO Resolution A997(25) - Survey Guidelines Under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification, 2007”.

It is stated that initial and annual radio survey, issuance, renewal and endorsement of Safety Radio Certificates Survey of radio installations on SOLAS ships should be carried out in accordance with the rules laid down in IMO resolution A.948(23).

The radio survey should always be performed by a fully qualified radio surveyor who has adequate knowledge of the IMO`s relevant Convention, particularly SOLAS and associated performance standards, and appropriate ITU Radio Regulations. The radio survey should be carried out using suitable test equipment capable of performing all relevant measurements required by these Guidelines.

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General → Performance Standards for GMDSS equipment

When we carry our the annual performance test of the GMDSS Test equipment the main task is to check whether the equipment operates as expected by predefined standards.

The GMDSS Equipment should be so constructed and installed that it is readily accessible for inspection during Annual Safety Radio Survey and onboard maintenance purposes.

If equipment is not operating and the faults are discovered during survey the ship can be delayed in port.

IMO

SOLAS IV/15.8 says:

«While all reasonable steps shall be taken to maintain the equipment in efficient working order to ensure compliance with all the functional requirements specified in regulation TV/4 malfunction of the equipment for providing the general radiocommunications required by regulation IV/4.8 shall not be considered as making a ship unseaworthy or as a reason for delaying the ship in ports where repair facilities are not readily available, provided the ship is capable of performing all distress and safety functions.»

Thus it is srtongly recommended to test GMDSS equipment and carry out performance tests to be sure it complies with following Performance Standards.

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General → How to Conduct a GMDSS Inspection (FCC version)

The GMDSS replaces the ship-to-ship safety system that used manual Morse code with a ship-to-shore safety system that uses satellite and automated terrestrial communications systems. The GMDSS requires ships to carry various types of communications equipment depending upon the voyages of the ship rather than the gross tonnage. The GMDSS also requires ships to comply with certain functional requirements.

The GMDSS rules are found in subpart W of Part 80 [Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 80] and are applicable to the appropriate tonnage and operational areas of Passenger and Cargo vessels.

Under the Communications Act, Fishing vessels are considered to be Cargo vessels and, all these vessels are the subject to Radio Inspection.

To provide a GMDSS inspection the engineer must obtain an appropriate license for Inspectors.

In the course of survey carrying, the inspector should draw-up a report of Inspection. 

A report of Radio Inspection provided can contain a Radio Technician's Remarks.

It is suggested that one copy of appropriate report be
left onboard and one copy be kept with the Surveyor.

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News

16.05.2016

Guidance on AIS devices agreed

The Sub-Committee endorsed a draft Safety of Navigation (SN.1) circular providing information to seafarers on the display of AIS-SART, AIS Man Overboard (MOB) and EPIRB-AIS devices, for submission to the MSC for approval.

03.04.2016

GMDSS modernization on agenda

The modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), e-navigation implementation and new and amended ships’ routeing proposals are among items on a busy agenda as the third session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communication, Search and Rescue (NCSR) gets underway (29 February-4 March).