Mayday distress call
The Mayday distress call may be used only if the boat is threatened by grave and imminent danger and immediate assistance is required, for example, when your vessel is sinking or on fire.
A Mayday call on one of the distress frequencies will attract the attention of land stations and other vessels in your area.
Use VHF channel 16, 27MHz channel 88, or HF frequency 4125 to make a distress call.
Stay calm and clearly explain the problem, your position and the number of people on board.
Follow the instructions Marine Rescue or the rescuing vessel give you.
Notify Marine Rescue if the situation changes or the danger has passed.
"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday"
"This is [vessel name and/or call sign if you have one]" (spoken three times)
"Mayday [vessel name and/or call sign if you have one]"
"My position is ... [Details of the ship's position]"
"My vessel is ... [Nature of distress and assistance required is identified]"
"I have ... [Other information including number of persons on board]"
If you hear a distress (Mayday) call and a coast station does not answer, provide assistance where reasonable or attempt to relay (pass) the message the message on to the closest coast station.
Pan Pan urgency call
The urgency call should be used when the distress call cannot be justified but there is an urgent message to transmit concerning the safety of the vessel or the safety of a person (for example, mechanical breakdown, medical emergency or a man overboard).
Pan Pan procedure
"Pan Pan, Pan Pan, Pan Pan"
"Hello all stations, Hello all stations, Hello all stations"
"This is [vessel name and/or call sign if you have one]" (said 3 times)
"My position is ... [Details of the vessel's position]"
"I require... [Details of assistance required and other information]"
Securite safety calls
The Securite (Saycure-e-tay) safety call is used to broadcast important navigational warnings. A safety call is more likely to be made by a coast station or sea rescue group and may include important strong weather warnings.
Safety call procedure
"Saycure-e-tay, Saycure-e-tay, Saycure-e-tay"
"Hello all stations, Hello all stations, Hello all stations."
"This is ... [vessel name and/or call sign if you have one]" (said 3 times)
"A hazard exists ... [Details of the warning or announcement]"
Safety calls can be announced on a distress frequency like VHF 16.
However, change to channel 67 or an appropriate working frequency to broadcast the actual safety message.
To increase the chances of a weak distress transmission being received, 3 minute periods of radio silence are observed on the hour and half hour on distress channels.
All transmissions must stop during silence periods except distress calls.