Report on activation of False DSC/INMARSAT/COSPAS-SARSAT Alerts.


No. 27-NT(2)/95-III                                                                                                 Date : 2nd July, 2007

SUBJECT :Report on activation of False DSC/INMARSAT/COSPAS-SARSAT Alerts

Attention of all MRCC, Indian Ship owners and operators, Masters and others concerned agencies is drawn to the following Circulars/ M.S. Notices issued by the Directorate.

  1. MS Notice no. 5 of 1998.
  2. MS Notice no. 14 of 1998.
  3. MS Notice no. 18 of 1998.
  4. MS Notice no. 19 of 1998.
  5. MS Notice no. 7 of 1999.
  6. MS Notice no. 5 of 2000.
  7. NT/RADIO/01/2005.

The above Circulars were issued to provide the necessary guidance for the avoidance of false EPIRB alert transmissions. However, false alerts continue to be activated causing considerable and unnecessary burden on concerned authorities.

IMO has issued the "Guidance for the voluntary use of the standardized questionnaires and formats for reporting false alerts in collecting data on false alerts" vide their Ref. T2/6.06, COMSAR/Circ. 29 dated 27 May 2002. The extracts are as appended below:-

  1. The Sub-Committee on Radiocommuncations and Search and Rescue (COMSAR), at its sixth session (18 to 22 February 2002), agreed to standardized questionnaires and formats for reporting false alerts, as given in annexes 1 to 6 hereto, and also agreed that they should be issued for voluntary use.
  2. The Maritime Safety Committee, at its seventy-fifth session (15 to 24 May 2002), concurred with the Sub-Committee's view and encouraged the use of the annexed forms in collecting data on false alerts for further analysis and actions to be taken to eliminate the problem of false alerts.
  3. Member Governments are invited to bring this circular to the attention of all parties concerned.

In view of above Circular and continued activation of false alerts from DSC, INMARSAT and COSPAS-SARSAT, the following procedures should be adopted.

  1. The Master of any vessel on detecting a false alert transmitted from his vessel should immediately cancel the false alert in the prescribed format as mentioned in Appendix of Resolution A.814 (19) attached in M.S. Notice 14 of 1998 { Instructions for mariners and others on how to cancel a false distress alert, copy enclosed. }
  2. All Ship-owners and operators, Masters, Crew and concerned agencies are advised to report to MRCC in their region in the applicable format attached as Annex 1, 2 & 3.
  3. All MRCC's are advised to communicate with the station which transmits a false alert and request them for the report in the applicable format attached as Annex 1, 2 & 3.
  4. On receipt of the information from the station, the respective MRCC should compile the received data in the suggested format attached as Annex 4, 5 & 6 and submit to this Directorate for further analysis.


( Capt. S.C.Panigrahy)

Nautical Surveyor cum Dy.Director General of Shipping (Tech)

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