GMDSS Equipment carriage requirements for SOLAS vessels

Introduction

Equipment requirements for GMDSS vessels vary according to the area (or areas) in which a ship operates. Coastal vessels, for example, only have to carry minimal equipment if they do not operate beyond the range of shore based VHF stations (Sea Area A1). Ships which trade further from land are required to carry MF equipment in addition to VHF (sea area A2). Ships which operate beyond MF range are required to carry HF and/or Inmarsat equipment in addition to VHF and MF (sea areas A3 and A4).

Minimum requirements

Every GMDSS ship is required to carry the following minimum equipment (as de ned by SOLAS Chapter IV, regulation 7):

  • A VHF radio installation capable of transmitting DSC on channel 70, and radiotelephony on channels 16, 13 and 6; 

  • A SART (Two on vessels over 500 GRT, one on vessels 300 - 500 GRT); 

  • A NAVTEX receiver, if the ship is engaged on voyages in any area where a NAVTEX service is provided; 

  • An Inmarsat EGC receiver, if the ship is engaged on voyages in any area of Inmarsat coverage where MSI services are not provided by NAVTEX or HF NBDP; and 

  • A 406 MHz EPIRB. Vessels trading exclusively in sea area A1 may t a VHF DSC EPIRB in lieu of a 406 MHz EPIRB). 


Passenger ships

Every passenger ship shall be provided with means of two-way on-scene radio-communications for search and rescue purposes using the aeronautical frequencies 121.5 MHz and 123.1 MHz from the position from which the ship is normally navigated. 


Equipment carriage requirements for GMDSS sea areas


The carriage requirements for the various GMDSS sea areas are de ned in the following regulations taken from SOLAS Chapter IV. Detailed guidelines when implementing new GMDSS installations on board SOLAS ships should be referred to COMSAR/Circ.32. 


GMDSS Sea Areas

Radio equipment – sea area A1

In addition to carrying the equipment listed in Minimum requirements every ship engaged on voyages exclusively in sea area A1 shall be provided with either of the following installations for the transmission of ship- shore Distress Alerts:

  • A 406 MHz EPIRB, (which may be the one specified in Minimum requirements) installed close to, or capable of remote activation from the position from which the ship is normally navigated;

OR

  • A VHF DSC EPIRB, installed close to, or capable of remote activation from the position from which the ship is normally navigated;

OR

  • A MF DSC System, if the ship is engaged on voyages within coverage of MF coast stations equipped with DSC;

OR
• A HF DSC System;

OR
• An Inmarsat ship earth station.*

* This requirement can be met by Inmarsat ship earth stations capable of two-way communications, such as Inmarsat-B, Fleet 77 or Inmarsat-C ship earth stations. Unless otherwise specified, this footnote applies to all requirements for an Inmarsat ship earth station prescribed by this chapter.

Radio Equipment - sea areas A1 and A2

In addition to carrying the equipment listed in Section 3.2.2, every ship engaged on voyages beyond sea area A1, but remaining within sea area A2, shall be provided with:

  • An MF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving, for distress and safety purposes, on the frequencies:

                                            -  2 187.5 kHz using DSC; and 


                                            -  2 182 kHz using radiotelephony. 


  • A DSC watchkeeping receiver operating on 2 187.5 kHz 
Means of initiating the transmission of ship-to shore Distress Alerts by a radio service other than MF, either: 


• A 406 MHz EPIRB, (which may be the one speci ed in Section 3.2.2) installed close to, or capable of remote activation from the position from which the ship is normally navigated;

OR

• A HF DSC system;

OR

• An Inmarsat ship earth station;*

OR

• The ship shall, in addition, be capable of transmitting and receiving general radio-communications using radiotelephony or direct-printing telegraphy by either:

- A HF radio installation operating on working frequencies in the bands between 1 605 kHz and 4 000 kHz or between 4 000 kHz and 27 500 kHz. This requirement may be ful lled by the addition of this capability in the MF equipment referred to earlier;

OR

- An Inmarsat ship earth station.*

* This requirement can be met by Inmarsat ship earth stations capable of two-way communications such as Inmarsat-B, Fleet 77 or Inmarsat-C ship earth stations. Unless otherwise speci ed, this footnote applies to all requirements for an Inmarsat ship earth station prescribed by this chapter.

Radio equipment - sea areas A1, A2 and A3

These vessels have two broad options to satisfy their GMDSS requirements. The options allow a vessel to choose the primary method to be used for ship-shore alerting:

OPTION 1

In addition to carrying the equipment listed in Section 3.2.2, every ship engaged on voyages beyond
sea areas A1 and A2, but remaining within sea area A3, shall, if it does not comply with the requirements of Option 2, be provided with:

  • An Inmarsat-C ship earth station;
  • An MF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving, for distress and safety purposes, on the frequencies:

                                            -  2 187.5 kHz using DSC; and 


                                            -  2 182 kHz using radiotelephony. 


  • A DSC watchkeeping receiver operating on 2187.5 kHz. 
Means of initiating the transmission of ship-to-shore Distress Alerts by either: 


• A 406 MHz EPIRB, (which may be the one speci ed in Section 3.2.2) installed close to, or capable of remote activation from the position from which the ship is normally navigated;

OR


  • A HF DSC system.

OR OPTION 2

In addition to carrying the equipment listed in Section 3.2.2, every ship engaged on voyages beyond sea areas A1 and A2, but remaining within sea area A3, shall, if it does not comply with the requirements of Option 1, be provided with:

  • An MF/HF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving, for distress and safety purposes,
on all distress and safety frequencies in the
bands between 1 605 kHz and 4 000 kHz and between 4 000 kHz and 27 500 kHz: using DSC, radiotelephony; and NBDP. 


An MF/HF DSC watchkeeping receiver capable of maintaining DSC watch on 2 187.5 kHz,
8 414.5 kHz and on at least one of the distress and safety DSC frequencies 4 207.5 kHz, 6 312 kHz, 12 577 kHz or 16 804.5 kHz; at any time, it shall be possible to select any of these DSC distress and safety frequencies.

Means of initiating the transmission of ship-to-shore Distress Alerts by a radiocommunication service other than HF, either:

  • A 406 MHz EPIRB, (which may be the one speci ed in Section 3.2.2) installed close to, or capable of remote activation from the position which the ship is normally navigated;

OR

  • An Inmarsat ship earth station.*

In addition, ships shall be capable of transmitting
and receiving general radiocommunications using radiotelephony or direct-printing telegraphy by an MF/ HF radio installation operating on working frequencies in the bands between 1 605 kHz and 4 000 kHz and between 4000 kHz and 27 500 kHz. This requirement may be ful lled by the addition of this capability in the MF/HF equipment referred to earlier.

* This requirement can be met by Inmarsat ship earth stations capable of two-way communications such as Inmarsat-B, Fleet 77 or Inmarsat-C ship earth stations. Unless otherwise speci ed, this footnote applies to all requirements for an Inmarsat ship earth station prescribed by this chapter.

Radio equipment - sea areas A1, A2, A3 and A4

In addition to carrying the equipment listed in Section 3.2.2, every ship engaged on voyages in all sea areas shall be provided with:

  • An MF/HF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving, for distress and safety purposes, on all distress and safety frequencies in the bands between 1 605 kHz and 4 000 kHz and between 4 000 kHz and 27 500 kHz: using DSC, radiotelephony; and NBDP. 

  • An MF/HF DSC watchkeeping receiver capable of maintaining DSC watch on 2 187.5 kHz,
8 414.5 kHz and on at least one of the distress and safety DSC frequencies 4 207.5 kHz, 
6 312 kHz, 12 577 kHz or 16 804.5 kHz; at any time, it shall be possible to select any of these DSC distress and safety frequencies. 
Means of initiating the transmission of ship-to- shore Distress Alerts by: 

  • A 406 MHz EPIRB, (which may be the one speci ed in Section 3.2.2) installed close to, or capable of remote activation from the position from which the ship is normally navigated.

In addition, ships shall be capable of transmitting and receiving general radiocommunications using radiotelephony or direct-printing telegraphy by an MF/HF radio installation operating on working frequencies in the bands between 1 605 kHz and 4 000 kHz and between 4 000 kHz and 27 500 kHz. This requirement may be ful lled by the addition of this capability in the MF/HF equipment.

 

Following summarises the equipment GMDSS vessels are required to carry:

GMDSS Equipment

GMDSS Testers in METS 2019

BEACON Tester

BEACON Tester

BEACON TESTER enables professional checking of all types of maritime emergency radio beacons that operate in COSPAS-SARSAT system like EPIRBs, PLB. Provides mandatory annual EPIRB testing in accordance with IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1039, 1040.

Beacon Tester Mini Wi-Fi

Beacon Tester Mini Wi-Fi

EPIRB Tester Mini w/ W-Fi is the newest device appointed to check the maritime distress beacons (EPIRBs, PLBs) operating via COSPAS-SARSAT system. This device is really lightweight and is capable to operate via Wi-Fi with any smartphone, tablet or laptop. Its operation complies with SOLAS regulation, IMO 1039 and 1040 Circulars.

GMDSS Tester MRTS-7M

GMDSS Tester MRTS-7M

GMDSS Multi Tester MRTS-7M is the first hand-held Multi Tester enabling the testing of all GMDSS equipment: AIS Stations, EPIRBs, VHF and MF/HF Radios with DSC, AIS-SART and NAVTEX. The cutting-edge software is compatible with all operation systems. Automatic generation of test reports for all the range of tested equipment. And all reports are in IMO-required format. Less paper work, more surveys!

SART Tester

SART Tester

The SART Tester provides precise, complete verification of the operation of any Search and Rescue Transponder in accordance with the requirements of IMO Resolution A.802(19). It is professional and user-friendly device for radio surveyors, inspectors, classification societies and administrative authorities.

GMDSS Tester MRTS-7

GMDSS Tester MRTS-7

The MF/HF/VHF/DSC/NAVTEX Marine Radio Test System MRTS-7 is intended to provide accurate, independent validation of the operation of GMDSS-radios in accordance with the requirements under IMO A.948(23) resolution.

Sarsat Beacon Monitor 406

Sarsat Beacon Monitor 406

Cospas-Sarsat Distress Signal Fixed Receiver (hereafter as Sarsat Beacon Monitor 406 – 406MHz emergency radio beacon monitoring system) is intended for 406MHz emergency radio beacon rapid signals reception, decoding and positioning. The equipment is destined to reduce rescue operation time.