The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

GMDSS or The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System is a maritime safety and alerting system designed for vessel traffic and to enhance safety around the world’s oceans and ports.

The system is divided up in 4 distinct sections of the worlds oceans and applies to vessels that exceed 300 Gross Registered Tons and above that are engaged in international voyages.

Under the regulations of the International SOLAS Convention all GMDSS equipped vessels should have at a minimum:

  • Ship to Shore Distress Alerting (Examples being EPIRB, DSC and INMARSAT)
  • Shore to Ship Distress Alerting
  • Ship to Ship Distress Communications

The system is considered more reliable and automated than previous systems and relies less on human interaction and more on ship-to-ship with coordination from shoreside command centers.

The system is designed to automatically broadcast a distress signal to alert search and rescue personal (SAR) and to notify ships in the local vicinity of the situation.  The vessel in distress can then expect vessels in the local vicinity to render aid and other shore-based SAR operators can then render aid in a more timely and efficient manor.

In future installments we will discuss Satellite Enabled AIS systems and how they compare to the current GMDSS standards.

Offshore Communications specializes in maintaining, installing, and testing these critical systems and is a preferred vendor for many brands.

Reach out to us today to discuss your requirements.