PART III - EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION PHRASES (Attention: The use of Standard Phrases in ships' external communication does not in any way exempt from applying the relevant ITU ‑ Radio Regulations and Procedures for Radio Telephony) III / 1 Distress Co

IMO STANDARD MARINE COMMUNICATION PHRASES (SMCPs) Part 3.1

Maritime blog

PART III - EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION PHRASES

(Attention: The use of Standard Phrases in ships' external communication does not in any way exempt from applying the relevant ITU ‑ Radio Regulations and Procedures for Radio Telephony)

III / 1 Distress Communications

III / 1.1 Distress messages

1.1.1 Fire, explosion

.1 Vessel on fire (after explosion) in position ... .

.2 I am on fire in position ... .

.3 What is on fire?

.3.1 Engine room on fire.

.3.2 Hold(s)on fire.

.3.3 (Deck) cargo on fire.

.3.4 Superstructure on fire.

.3.5 Accommodation on fire.

.3.5 ... on fire.

.4 Are dangerous goods on fire?

.4.1 Yes, oil/... on fire.

.4.2 No, dangerous goods not on fire.

.5 Is danger of explosion?

.5.1 Yes, danger of explosion.

.5.2 No, no danger of explosion.

.6 What is damage?

.6.1 No damage.

.6.2 No power supply.

.6.3 I am not under command.

.6.4 I am making water.

.6.5 I am sinking.

.7 Is fire under control?

.7.1 Yes, fire under control.

.7.2 No, fire not under control (fire spreading).

.8 Can you get fire under control?

.8.1 Yes, I can get fire under control.

.8.2 No, I cannot get fire under control.

.9 Is smoke toxic?

.9.1 Yes, smoke toxic.

.9.2 No, smoke not toxic.

.10 What kind of assistance do you require?

.10.1 I require foam extinguishers.

.10.2 I require CO2 extinguishers.

.10.3 I require fire pumps.

.10.4 I require fire fighting assistance.

.10.5 I require ... .

.10.6 I do not require assistance.


.11 Report injured persons.

.11.1 No person injured.

.11.2 Number of injured persons/casualties: ... .

.11.3 I require medical assistance.

1.1.2 Flooding

. 1 I have leak below water line.

. 2 I am making water.

. 3 Can you stop leak?

. 3.1 Yes, I can stop leak.

. 3.2 No, I cannot stop leak.

. 4 Can you control flooding?

. 4.1 Yes, I can control flooding.

. 4.2 No, I cannot control flooding.

. 5 What kind of assistance do you require?

. 5.1 I require pumps.

. 5.2 I require divers.

. 5.3 I require ... .

. 6 I will send pumps.

. 6.1 I will send divers.

. 6.2 I will send ... .

. 6.3 I cannot send ... .

. 7 I have dangerous list.

. 8 I am in critical condition.

. 9 How many compartments flooded?

. 9.1 ... compartments flooded.

.10 Flooding under control.

.11 Can you proceed without assistance?

.11.1 Yes, I can proceed without assistance.

.11.2 No, I cannot proceed without assistance.

.12 I require escort.

1.1.3 Collision

. 1 I have collided with MV ....

. 1.1 I have collided with unknown vessel/object.

. 1.2 I have collided with ...(name) light vessel.

. 1.3 I have collided with seamark ...(charted name).

. 1.4 I have collided with iceberg.

. 1.5 I have collided with ... .

. 2 What is damage?

. 2.1 I have minor/major damage above/below water line.

. 2.2 Propeller/rudder damaged.

. 2.3 I can only proceed at slow speed.

. 2.4 I am not under command.

. 3 Can you repair damage?

. 3.1 Yes, I can repair damage.

. 3.2 No, I cannot repair damage.


. 4 What kind of assistance do you require?

. 4.1 I require escort.

. 4.2 I require tugs.

. 4.3 I require ... .

1.1.4 Grounding

. 1 Are you aground?

. 1.1 Yes, aground in position .... .

. 1.2 Yes, aground on rocky bottom.

. 1.3 Yes, aground on soft bottom.

. 2 I went aground in position ... require assistance.

. 3 I went aground at high water.

. 4 I went aground at half water.

. 5 I went aground at low water.

. 6 What part is aground?

. 6.1 Aground forward.

. 6.2 Aground amidships.

. 6.3 Aground aft.

. 6.4 Aground full length.

. 7 What kind of assistance do you require?

. 7.1 I require pumps.

. 7.2 I require escort.

. 7.3 I require tugs.

. 7.4 I require ... .

. 7.5 I do not require assistance.

. 8 Uncharted rocks in position ... .

. 9 Risk of grounding at low water.

.10 Can you jettison cargo forward/aft to refloat?

.11.1 Yes, I can jettison cargo forward/aft.

.11.2 No, I cannot jettison cargo.

.11.3 Attention! Do not jettison IMO-class cargo.

.12 When do you expect to refloat?

.12.1 I expect to refloat at ... .

.12.2 I expect to refloat when tide rises.

.12.3 I expect to refloat when weather improves.

.12.4 I expect to refloat when draft decreases.

.12.5 I expect to refloat with tug assistance.

.14 Can you beach?

.14.1 Yes, I can/will beach in position ... .

.14.2 No, I cannot beach.

1.1.5 List, danger of capsizing

. 1 I have heavy list to port side/starboard side.

. 2 I have heavy list due to flooding.

. 3 I have heavy list due to shifting cargo.

. 4 List increasing.

. 4.1 List decreasing.


. 5 I am in danger of capsizing.

. 6 Can you transfer cargo/bunkers to stop listing?

. 6.1 Yes, I can transfer cargo/bunkers.

. 6.2 No, I cannot transfer cargo/bunkers.

. 6.3 I have transferred cargo/bunkers to stop listing

. 7 Listing stopped after transferring.

. 7.1 Listing did not stop after transferring.

. 8 Can you jettison cargo to stop listing?

. 8.1 Yes, I can jettison cargo .

. 8.2 No, I cannot jettison cargo.

. 8.3 I have jettisoned cargo to stop listing.

. 9 Listing stopped after jettisoning.

. 9.1 Listing did not stop after jettisoning.

. 10 Can you beach?

. 10.1 Yes, I can/will beach in position ... .

. 10.2 No, I cannot beach.

1.1.6 Sinking

. 1 I am sinking in position ... after collision.

. 1.1 I am sinking after grounding.

. 1.2 I am sinking after flooding.

. 1.3 I am sinking after explosion.

. 1.4 I am sinking after ... .

. 2 I require assistance.

. 3 I proceed to your assistance.

. 4 I expect to reach you within ... hours/at ... UTC.

1.1.7 Disabled and adrift

. 1 I am not under command in position ... .

. 2 I am adrift near position ... .

. 3 I am drifting at ... knots to ... degrees.

. 4 What kind of assistance do you require?

. 4.1 I require tug assistance.

. 4.2 I require... .

1.1.8 Armed attack/piracy

. 1 I am under attack of pirates.

. 1.1 MV ... under attack of pirates.

. 1.2 I require assistance.

. 1.3 MV ... requires assistance.

. 2 I was under attack of pirates.

. 2.1 MV ... was under attack of pirates.

. 3 What kind of assistance do you require?

. 3.1 I require medical assistance.

. 3.2 I require navigational assistance.

. 3.3 I require tug assistance.

. 3.4 I require military assistance.

. 3.5 I require escort.


. 3.6 I require ... .

. 4 What is damage?

. 4.1 I have no damage.

. 4.2 I have major/minor damage to navigational instruments.

. 4.3 I am not under command.

. 5 Can you proceed?

. 5.1 Yes, I can/ will proceed.

. 5.2 No, I cannot/ will not proceed.

1.1.9 Undesignated distress

. 1 I have problems.

. 2 What problems have you?

. 2.1 I have problems with cargo.

. 2.2 I have problems with machinery.

. 2.3 I have problems with navigation.

. 2.4 I have problems with mass disease.

. 2.5 I have problems with ... .

. 3 What kind of assistance do you require?

. 3.1 I require ... .

1.1.10 Abandoning vessel

. 1 I must abandon vessel after collision in position ... .

. 1.1 I must abandon vessel after grounding in position ... .

. 1.2 I must abandon vessel after flooding in position ... .

. 1.3 I must abandon vessel after explosion in position ... .

. 1.4 I must abandon vessel after piracy in position ... .

. 1.5 I must abandon vessel after ... in position ... .

III / 1.2 Search and rescue communications

1.2.1 Distress/urgency messages

. 1 I require assistance.

. 2 I proceed to your assistance.

. 3 What is your position?

. 3.1 My position ... .

. 4 What is your present course and speed?

. 4.1 My present course ... degrees, my speed ... knots.

. 5 How many persons on board?

. 5.1 Number of persons on board: ... .

. 6 Report injured persons.

. 6.1 No person injured

. 6.2 Number of injured persons/casualties: ... .

. 7 Will you abandon vessel?

. 7.1 I will not abandon vessel.

. 7.2 I will abandon vessel at ... .

. 8 How many lifeboats/life rafts will you launch?

. 8.1 I will launch ... lifeboats/liferafts.


. 9 How many persons will stay on board?

. 9.1 No person will stay on board.

. 9.2 ... persons will stay on board.

.10 What is weather situation in your position?

.10.1 Wind ...(direction) force Beaufort ... .

.10.2 Visibility ... metres/nautical miles.

.10.3 Sea/swell ... metres from ... (compass points).

.10.4 Current ... knots to ... degrees.

.11 Are there dangers to navigation?

.11.1 No, no dangers to navigation.

.11.2 Yes, uncharted rocks.

.11.3 Yes, drifting ice.

.11.4 Yes, abnormally low tides.

.11.5 Yes, drifting mines.

.11.6 Yes, ... .

.11.7 Proceed with caution.

1.2.2 Acknowledgement and/or relay of SAR ‑ messages

. 1 Received MAYDAY from MV ... at UTC on channel.../frequency ....

. 2 Vessel in position ... on fire/had explosion.

. 2.1 Vessel in position ... flooded.

. 2.2 Vessel in position ... has collided (with .. ).

. 2.3 Vessel in position ... listing/in danger of capsizing.

. 2.4 Vessel in position ... sinking.

. 2.5 Vessel in position ... disabled and adrift.

. 2.6 Vessel in position ... abandoned.

. 3 Vessel requires assistance.

. 4 Received your MAYDAY.

. 4.1 My position ... .

. 4.2 I proceed/MV ... proceeds to your assistance.

. 5 When will you/assistance arrive?

. 5.1 I/assistance will arrive within ... hours/at ... UTC.

1.2.3 Performing/co‑ordinating SAR ‑ operations

(The questions are normally asked and advice is given by the Co‑ordinator Surface Search (CSS) or the On‑scene Commander (OSC). For further information especially on items: 8 to 16 see IMO‑MERSAR Manual, 1993).

. 1 This is MV ... .

. 1.1 I am/will act as Co‑ordinator Surface Search.

. 1.2 I will show following signals/lights.

. 2 Can you proceed to distress position?

. 2.1 Yes, I can proceed to distress position.

. 2.2 No, I cannot proceed to distress position.

. 3 When will you arrive at distress position?

. 3.1 I will arrive at distress position within ... hours/ at ... UTC.

. 4 The position given in MAYDAY not correct.

. 4.1 Correct position ... .

. 5 Vessels are advised to proceed to position ... to start rescue.


. 6 Carry out search pattern ... starting at ... UTC.

. 6.1 Carrying out search pattern ... starting at ... UTC.

. 7 Initial course ... degrees, search speed ... knots.

. 8 Carry out radar search.

. 8.1 Carrying out radar search.

. 9 MV ... is allocated track number ... .

.10 MV/MVs ... adjust interval between vessels to ...kilometres/nautical miles.

.10.1 Interval between vessels adjusted to ... kilometres/nautical miles.

.11 Adjust track spacing to ...kilometres/nautical miles.

.11.1 Track spacing adjusted to ... kilometres/nautical miles.

.12 Search speed now ... knots.

.13 Alter course to ... degrees (at ... UTC).

.13.1 Course altered to ... degrees (at ... UTC).

.14 Alter course for next leg of track now/at ... UTC.

.14.1 Course altered for next leg of track.

.15 We resume search in position ... .

.16 Crew has abandoned vessel.

.17 Keep sharp lookout for lifeboats/liferafts.

1.2.4 Finishing with SAR ‑ operations

. 1 What is result of search?

. 1.1 Result of search negative.

. 2 Continue search in position ... .

. 3 Sighted vessel in position ... .

. 3.1 Sighted derelict in position ... .

. 3.2 Sighted lifeboats/liferafts in position ... .

. 3.3 Sighted lifejackets in position ... .

. 3.4 Sighted oil slick in position ... .

. 3.5 Sighted ... in position.

. 4 Can you pick up survivors?

. 4.1 Yes, I can pick up survivors.

. 4.2 No, I cannot pick up survivors.

. 5 I/MV ... will proceed to pick up survivors.

. 5.1 Stand by at lifeboats/liferafts.

. 6 Picked up ... survivors in position ... .

. 6.1 Picked up ... lifejackets in position ... .

. 6.2 Picked up ... in position ... .

. 7 Picked up lifeboat/life raft with ... casualties in position ... .

. 8 Picked up ... casualties in lifejackets in position ... .

. 9 Survivors in bad/good condition.

.10 Do you require medical assistance?

.10.1 Yes, I require medical assistance.

.10.2 No, I do not require medical assistance.

.11 Try to obtain information from survivors.

.12 There are still .../no more lifeboats/liferafts with survivors.

.13 Total number of persons on board was ... .

.14 Rescued all persons/ ... persons.

.15 You/MV ... can stop search and proceed.

.16 There is no hope to rescue more persons.

.17 We finish with SAR ‑ operations.


III / 1.3 Person overboard

. 1 I/MV ... lost person overboard in position ... .

. 2 Assist with search in vicinity of position ... .

. 3 All ships in vicinity of position ... keep sharp lookout and report to ... .

. 4 I am/MV ... proceeding for assistance and, arriving at ... UTC.

. 5 Search in vicinity of position ... .

. 5.1 I am/MV ... searching in vicinity of position ... .

. 6 Aircraft arriving within ... hours to assist in search.

. 7 Can you continue search?

. 7.1 Yes, I can continue the search.

. 7.2 No, I cannot continue search.

. 8 Stop search and return to base

. 8.1 Search stopped - returning to base.

. 9 Stop search and proceed your voyage.

. 9.1 Search stopped - proceeding my voyage.

.10 What is result of search?

.10.1 Result of search negative.

.11 I/MV ... located person in position ... .

.12 I/MV ... picked up person in position ... .

.13 Person picked up is crewmember of MV ... .

.14 What is condition of person?

.14.1 Condition of person bad/good.

.14.2 Person dead.

III / 1.4 Requesting medical assistance

. 1 I require medical assistance.

. 2 What kind of assistance do you require?

. 2.1 I require boat for hospital transfer.

. 2.2 I require radio medical advice.

. 2.3 I require helicopter with doctor.

. 2.4 I require helicopter to pick up person.

. 3 I will arrange for boat.

. 3.1 I will arrange for medical advice on channel ... /frequency ... .

. 3.2 I will arrange for helicopter.

. 4 Boat/helicopter will arrive within ... hours/at ... UTC.

. 5 Have you doctor on board?

. 5.1 Yes, I have doctor on board.

. 5.2 No, I have no doctor on board.

. 6 Can you make rendez‑vous in position ... ?

. 6.1 Yes, I can make rendez‑vous in position ... within ... hours/at ... UTC.

. 6.2 No, I cannot make rendez-vouz.

. 7 I will send boat/helicopter to pick up doctor.

. 8 Transfer person to my vessel by boat/helicopter.

. 9 Transfer of person not possible.


III / 2 Urgency communications

III / 2.1 Safety of a vessel, aircraft or other vehicle

2.1.1 Engine and equipment

. 1 I am not under command in position ... .

. 2 What problems do you have?

. 2.1 I have problems with main engine.

. 2.2 I have problems with steering gear.

. 2.3 I have problems with propeller.

. 2.4 I have problems with ... .

. 3 I am manoeuvring with difficulty.

. 4 Keep clear of me.

. 5 Navigate with caution.

. 6 Vessel not under command in position ... .

. 7 I require tug assistance.

. 8 I try to proceed without assistance.

. 9 I require escort.

.10 Keep in contact on VHF channel ... .

.11 Aircraft made forced landing near position ... .

.12 Vessels in vicinity of position ... keep sharp lookout ( for ...).

2.1.2 Cargo

. 1 I have lost dangerous substance of IMO‑Class ... in position ... .

. 1.1 MV ... lost dangerous substance of IMO‑Class ... in position ... .

. 2 Containers with dangerous substance of IMO‑Class ... adrift near position ... .

. 2.1 Barrels/drums with dangerous substance of IMO‑Class ... adrift near position... .

. 2.2 Bags with dangerous substance of IMO‑Class ... adrift near position ... .

. 2.3 ... with dangerous substance of IMO‑Class ... adrift near position ... .

. 3 I am/MV ... spilling dangerous substance of IMO‑Class ... in position ...

. 4 I am/MV ... spilling crude oil in position ... .

. 5 Require oil clearance assistance ‑ danger of pollution imminent.

. 5.1 MV ... in position ... requires oil clearance assistance ‑ danger of pollution.

. 6 I am /MV ... dangerous source of radiation.

2.1.3 Ice damage

. 1 I have/MV ... has major damage above/below waterline.

. 2 Extent of damage unknown.

. 3 What kind of assistance do you require?

. 3.1 I require medical assistance.

. 3.2 I require tug assistance.

. 3.3 I require ice‑breaker assistance.

. 3.4 I require escort.

. 4 I have/MV ... has stability problems due to heavy icing.


. 5 Can you proceed without assistance?

. 5.1 Yes, I can proceed without assistance.

. 5.2 No, I cannot proceed without assistance.

. 6 Stand by on VHF channel ... .

. 6.1 Standing by on VHF channel ... .

III / 3 Safety communications

III / 3.1 Warnings involving meteorological and hydrological conditions

3.1.1 Winds, storms, tropical storms, sea state

. 1 What is wind direction and force in your position/in position ... ?

. 1.1 Wind direction ... (compass points), force Beaufort ... in my position/in position .. .

. 2 Is wind backing/veering?

. 2.1 Wind backing/veering.

. 3 What wind direction and force is expected in my position/in position ... ?

. 3.1 Wind in your position/in position ...expected from ... direction(s), force Beaufort ...

. 3.2 Wind in your position/in position ...expected variable.

. 4 Is wind expected to increase/decrease?

. 4.1 Wind expected to increase/decrease.

. 5 What is latest gale warning?

. 5.1 Latest gale warning is as follows: Gale warning. Winds at ... UTC in area ... (met.area) from direction ...(compass points) and force Beaufort ... backing/veering to ... (compass points).

. 6 What is latest tropical storm warning?

. 6.1 Latest tropical storm warning is as follows:

(Standard tropical storm warning)

Tropical storm warning at ... UTC. Hurricane... (name)/tropical cyclone/tornado/willy‑willy/typhoon... with central pressure of ... millibars located in position ... . Present movement... (compass points) at ... knots. Winds of ... knots within radius of ... miles of centre. Seas over ... metres. Further information on VHF channel .../frequency ... .

. 7 What is atmospheric pressure in your position/in position ... ?

. 7.1 Atmospheric pressure ... millibars.

. 8 What is barometric change in your position/in position ... ?

. 8.1 Barometric change ... millibars per hour.

. 8.2 Barometric change... millibars within last ... hours.

. 8.3 Barometer steady.

. 8.4 Barometer dropping (rapidly).

. 8.5 Barometer rising (rapidly).

. 9 What is position, path and speed of advance of tropical storm... (name)?

. 9.1 Position of tropical storm ...(name) ..., path... (compass points), speed of advance ... knots.

.10 What maximum winds are expected in storm area?

.10.1 Maximum winds of ... knots expected in storm area.

.10.2 Maximum winds of ... knots expected within radius of ... kilometres/miles of centre.

.10.3 Maximum winds of ... knots expected in ... safe/dangerous semicircle.

.11 What is sea state in your position/in position ... ?

.11.1 Sea/swell in my position/in position ... ... metres from...(compass points).


.12 Is sea state expected to change (within next hours)?

.12.1 No, sea state not expected to change (within next hours).

.12.2 Yes, sea/swell of ... metres from ...(compass points) expected (within next hours).

.12.3 Tsunami/abnormal wave expected by ... UTC.

3.1.2 Restricted visibility (due to mist/fog, precipitation)

. 1 What is visibility in your position/in position ... ?

. 1.1 Visibility in my position/in position ...... metres/nautical miles

. 1.2 Visibility reduced by mist/fog/snow/dust/rain.

. 1.3 Visibility increasing/decreasing/variable.

. 2 Is visibility expected to change in my position/in position ... (within next hours)?

. 2.1 No, visibility not expected to change in your position/in position... (within next hours).

. 2.2 Yes, visibility expected to increase/decrease to ... metres/nautical miles in your position/in position ... (within next hours).

. 2.3 Yes, visibility expected to be variable between ... metres/nautical miles in your position/in position ... (within next hours).

3.1.3 Ice

. 1 What is latest ice information?

. 1.1 Ice warning. Ice/iceberg(s) located in position ... /reported in area around ... .

. 1.2 No ice located in position ... /reported in area around ... .

. 2 What kind of ice was located in position ... /reported in area around ... ?

. 2.1 I/MV ...located ... in position ... /reported ... in area around ... .

. 3 What ice situation is expected in my position/area around ... ?

. 3.1 Ice situation expected/not expected to change in your position / area around ... .

. 3.2 Ice situation expected to improve/deteriorate in your position / area around ... .

. 3.3 Ice expected to break up in your position/ area around ... .

. 3.4 Ice expected to open in your position / area around ... .

. 3.5 Ice expected to drift away in your position / area around ... .

. 3.6 Ice expected to freeze together in your position /area around ....

. 3.7 Thickness of ice expected to increase/decrease in your position /area around ... .

. 4 Navigation dangerous in area around ... due to floating ice/ pack ice/ iceberg(s).

. 5 Navigation in area around ... without ice‑breaker assistance only possible for high‑powered vessels of strong construction.

. 6 Navigation in area around ...only possible with ice‑breaker assistance.

. 7 Area around ... temporarily closed for navigation.

. 8 Danger of icing in area around ... .

3.1.4 Volcanic activities including earth and seaquakes

. 1 Volcanic activities expected in position ... / area around ... .

. 2 Earthquake/seaquake expected in position ... / area around ... .

. 3 Tsunami/abnormal wave expected in position ... / area around ... .

. 4 Move to high seas ‑ keep off coast.


3.1.5 Abnormal tides

. 1 Present tide ... metres above datum in position ... .

. 2 Tide ... above/below prediction.

. 3 Tide rising/falling.

. 4 Wait until high/low water.

. 5 Abnormally high/low tides expected in position ... at about ... UTC/within ... hours.

. 6 Is sufficient depth of water in position ... ?

. 6.1 Yes, sufficient depth of water in position ... .

. 6.2 No, not sufficient depth of water in position ... .

. 6.3 Depth of water ... metres in position ... .

. 7 My draft ... metres - can I enter/pass ... (charted name of place)?

. 7.1 Yes, you can enter/pass (charted name of place).

. 7.2 No, you cannot enter/pass (charted name of place) at present - wait until ... UTC.

. 8 Charted depth of water increased/decreased by ... metres due to sea state/winds.

III / 3.2 Navigational Warnings

3.2.1 Land- or Sea-marks

3.2.1.1 Defects

.1 ...(charted name of light/buoy) ...(position) unlit.

.2 ...(charted name of light/buoy) ...(position) unreliable.

.3 ...(charted name of buoy) ...(position) damaged.

.3.1 ...(charted name of light) ...(position) destroyed.

.4 ...(charted name of buoy) ...(position) off station.

.5 ...(charted name of buoy) ...(position) missing.

.6 For major lights only: Fog signal at ...(charted name of light) ... (position) inoperative.

3.2.1.2 Alterations

.1 ...(charted name of light/buoy) ...(position) changed to ...(full characteristics).

.2 ...(charted name of light/buoy) ...(position) temporarily changed to ...(full characteristics).

.3 ...(charted name of buoy) ...(position) temporarily removed (when appropriate).

.4 ...(charted name of light) ...(position) temporarily discontinued (when appropriate).

3.2.1.3 New and moved

.1 ...(charted name of light/buoy) ...(full characteristics) established in position ... .

.2 ...(charted name of light) ...(full characteristics) re-established in position ... .

.3 ...(charted name of light/buoy) moved ...(in miles and decimal miles) ..(direction) to position ... .

3.2.2 Drifting objects

.1 Superbuoy adrift in vicinity ...(position) at ...(date time if known).

.2 Hazardous mine adrift in vicinity ... (position) at ...(date time if known).

.3 Unlit derelict vessel adrift in vicinity ...(position) at ...(date time if known).

.4 ...(number) containers adrift in vicinity ...(position) at ...(date time if known).


3.2.3 Electronic navaids

.1 GPS Satellite ...(number) unusable from ... (date and time) to ...(date and time).

Cancel one hour after time of restoration.

.2 LORAN station ...(name number master/slave) off air from ...(date and time) to ... (date and time).

Cancel one hour after time of restoration.

.3 DECCA ...(identify chain and colour) off air from ...(date and time) to ...(date and time).

Cancel one hour after time of restoration.

.4 RACON ... (name of station) in position ... off air from ...(date and time) to... (date and time).

Cancel one hour after time of restoration.

3.2.4 Seabottom characteristics, wrecks

(Use REPORTED when position is unconfirmed, and use LOCATED when position has been confirmed by survey or other means)

.1 Uncharted reef/rock/shoal reported in position ... .

.1.1 Dangerous wreck/obstruction located in position ... .

.2 Dangerous wreck in position... marked by ... (type)buoy ...(distance in kilometres/nautical miles ) ...(direction).

3.2.5 Miscellaneous

3.2.5.1 Cable, pipeline and seismic/hydrographic operations

.1 Cable/pipeline operations by ... (vessel) in vicinity/along line joining ... (position) from ...(date time) to ...(date time). Wide berth requested. (if requested). Contact via VHF channel ...(number). (if requested).

.2 Seismic survey/hydrographic operations by ...(vessel) from ...(date time) to... (date time) in ...(position). Wide berth requested. (if requested). Contact via VHF

channel ... (number). (if requested).

.3 Survey vessel ...(name) towing ...(length) seismic cable along line joining/in area bound by/vicinity ...(position) from ...(date time) to ...(date time). Wide berth requested.

(if requested). Contact via VHF channel ... (number). (if requested).

.4 Hazardous operations by ...(vessel) in area bound by/vicinity ... (position) from ... (date time) to ...(date time). Wide berth requested. (if requested). Contact via VHF channel ...(date time). (if requested).

.5 Current meters/hydrographic instruments moored in ...(position). Wide berth requested. (if requested).

3.2.5.2 Diving operations, tows

.1 Diving operations by vessel ... (name) from ...(date time) to ...(date time)

in position ... . Wide berth requested (if requested).

.2 Difficult tow from ...(port of departure)on ... (date) to ...(destination)on ...(date). Wide berth requested.

.3 Dredging operations by vessel ...(name) from ...(date time) to ...(date time)

in ...(position). Wide berth requested (if requested).


3.2.5.3 Tanker transshipment

.1 Transshipment of ...(kind of cargo) in position... . Wide berth requested.

.2 I am/MT ... spilling oil/chemicals/... in position....Wide berth requested.

.3 I am/LNG-tanker ... leaking gas in position... - do not pass to windward.

.4 Oil clearance operations near MT ... in position ... . Wide berth requested.

3.2.5.4 Off-shore installations, rig moves

.1 Platform ...(name/number if available) reported/established in position... at ... (date and time).Wide berth requested. (if requested).

.2 Platform ...(name/number if available) removed from ...(position) on ... (date).

.3 Pipeline/platform ...(name/number if available) in position ... spilling oil/leaking gas. Wide berth requested.

.4 Derelict platform ...(name/number if available) being removed from ...(position) at ... (date time).Wide berth requested.

3.2.5.5 Defective locks or bridges

.1 Lock ...(name) defective.

.1.1 For entering ...(charted name of place) use lock ...(name).

.2 Lock/Bridge ... (name) defective.

.2.1 Avoid this area - no possibility for vessels to turn.

3.2.5.6 Military operations

.1 Gunnery/Rocket firing/missile/torpedo/underwater ordnance exercises in area bounded by ... (positions) from ... (date and time) to... (date and time). Wide berth requested.

(if requested).

.2 Mine clearing operations from ...(date time) to ...(date time) in area bound

by ...(positions).Wide berth requested. Contact via VHF channel ...(number).

(if requested).

3.2.5.7 Fishery

.1 Small fishing boats in area around .../within ...nautical miles of me - navigate with caution.

.2 Is fishing gear ahead of me?

.2.1 No, no fishing gear ahead of you.

.2.2 Yes, fishing gear with buoys/without buoys ahead of you - navigate with caution.

.2.3 Yes, fishing gear in position .../area around ...- navigate with caution.

.3 Fishing gear fouled my propeller(s).

.4 You have caught my fishing gear.

.5 Advise you to recover your fishing gear.

.6 Fishing in area ... prohibited.

.7 You are approaching prohibited fishing area.


III / 3.3 Environmental protection communications

.1 Located oil spill in position ... extending ... (length and width in metres) to ... (compass points).

.2 Located oil spill in your wake.

.2.1 I have accidental spillage of oil/ ... .

.3 Can you stop spillage?

.3.1 Yes, I can stop spillage.

.3.2 No, I cannot stop spillage.

.4 What kind of assistance do you require?

.4.1 I require oil clearance assistance.

.4.2 I require floating booms/oil dispersants/ ... .

.5 Stay in vicinity of pollution and co‑operate with oil clearance team.

.6 ... (number)barrels/drums/containers with IMDG ‑ Code marks reported adrift near position..... .

.7 Located vessel dumping chemicals/waste/ ... in position ... .

.7.1 Located vessel incinerating chemicals/waste/ ... in position ... .

.8 Can you identify polluter?

.8.1 Yes, I can identify polluter - polluter MV ... .

.8.2 No, I cannot identify polluter.

.9 What is course and speed of polluter?

.9.1 Course of polluter ... degrees, speed ... knots.

.9.2 Polluter left scene.

III / 4 Pilotage

III / 4.1 Pilot request

.1 Must I take pilot?

.1.1 Yes, you must take pilot - pilotage compulsory.

.1.2 No, you need not take pilot.

.2 Do you require pilot?

.2.1 Yes, I require pilot.

.2.2 No, I do not require pilot - I am holder of Pilotage Exemption Certificate (No. ... ).

.2.2.1 You are exempted from pilotage.

.3 Do you require pilot at ...(name) Pilot Station?

.3.1 Yes, I require pilot at ... (name) Pilot Station.

.3.2 No, I do not require pilot at ... (name) Pilot Station - I require pilot in position ... .

.4 What is your ETA at ...(name) Pilot Station in local time?

.4.1 My ETA at ...(name) Pilot Station ... hours local time.

.5 What is local time?

.5.1 Local time ... hours.

.6 What is your present position?

.6.1 My position ... .

.7 What is your distance from ...(name) Pilot Station?

.7.1 My distance from ...(name) Pilot Station ... kilometres/nautical miles.

.8 Is pilot boat on station?

.8.1 Yes, pilot boat on station.

.8.2 No, pilot boat not on station.

.8.3 Pilot boat on station at ... hours local time.


.9 In what position can I take pilot?

.9.1 Take pilot in position ... at ... hours local time.

.9.2 Take pilot near ... at ... hours local time.

.10 When will pilot embark?

.10.1 Pilot will embark at ... hours local time.

.11 Pilot coming to you.

.12 Pilot boat approaching your vessel.

.13 Keep pilot boat on port side.

.14 Keep pilot boat on starboard side.

.15 What is your freeboard?

.15.1 My freeboard ... metres.

.16 Stop in present position and wait for pilot.

.17 Change to VHF channel ... for pilot transfer.

.18 Stand by on VHF channel ... until pilot transfer completed.

.19 Pilotage at ...(name) Pilot Station suspended until ... (date and local time).

.20 Pilotage at ...(name) Pilot Station resumed.

.21 Pilot cannot embark at ... (name) Pilot Station due to ... .

.22 Do you accept shorebased navigational assistance from pilot?

.22.1 Yes, I accept shorebased navigational assistance from pilot.

.22.1.1 I stay in position ... until ... .

.23 You may navigate by yourself (or wait for pilot at ... buoy).

.24 Follow pilot boat inward where pilot will embark.

III / 4.2 Embarking/disembarking pilot

.1 Stand by pilot ladder.

.2 Rig pilot ladder on port side ... metres above water.

.3 Rig pilot ladder on starboard side ... metres above water.

.4 Pilot ladder on port side.

.5 Pilot ladder on starboard side.

.6 You must rig another pilot ladder

.7 Pilot ladder unsafe.

.8 What is wrong with pilot ladder?

.8.1 Pilot ladder has broken steps.

.8.2 Pilot ladder has loose steps.

.8.3 Pilot ladder has broken spreaders.

.8.4 Pilot ladder has spreaders too short.

.8.5 Pilot ladder too far aft.

.8.6 Pilot ladder too far forward.

.9 Move pilot ladder ... metres aft.

.10 Move pilot ladder ... metres forward.

.11 Move pilot ladder clear of discharge.

.12 Rig accommodation ladder in combination with pilot ladder.

.13 Rig pilot ladder alongside hoist.

.14 Put lights on at pilot ladder.

.15 Man ropes required/ not required.

.16 Have heaving line ready at pilot ladder.

.17 Correct list of vessel.

.18 Make lee on your port side.

.19 Make lee on your starboard side.


.20 Steer ... degrees to make lee.

.21 Keep sea on your port quarter.

.22 Keep sea on your starboard quarter.

.23 Make boarding speed of ... knots.

.24 Stop engine until pilot boat is clear.

.25 Put helm hard to port.

.26 Put helm hard to starboard.

.27 Alter course to port - pilot boat cannot clear vessel.

.28 Alter course to starboard - pilot boat cannot clear vessel.

.29 Put ahead engine.

.30 Put astern engine.

.31 Embarkation not possible.

.31.1 Boarding arrangements do not comply with SOLAS ‑ Regulations.

.31.2 Vessel not suited for pilot ladder.

III / 4.3 Tug assistance

.1 How many tugs do you require?

.1.1 I require ... tug(s).

.2 Must I take tug(s)?

.2.1 Yes, you must take ... tug(s).

.2.2 No, you need not take tug(s).

.3 How many tugs must I take?

.3.1 You must take ... tug(s) according to Port Regulations.

.3.2 You must take ... tug(s) fore and ... tug(s) aft.

.4 I will order tug(s).

.5 In what position will tug(s) meet me?

.5.1 Tug(s) will meet you in position ... at ... local time.

.5.2 Wait for tug(s) in position ... .

.6 Must I take my towing lines?

.6.1 Yes, you must take your towing lines.

.6.2 No, you must take towing lines of tug.

.7 Tug services suspended until ...(date and local time).

.8 Tug services resumed on ...(date) at ...local time.

III / 5 Specials

III / 5.1 Helicopter operations

(H: = from helicopter V: = from vessel)

.1 V: I require helicopter.

.1.1 V: I require helicopter to pick up persons.

.1.2 V: I require helicopter with doctor.

.1.3 V: I require helicopter with raft.

.1.4 V: I require helicopter with ... .

.2 H: MV ... , I will drop ... .

.3 H: MV ... , are you ready for helicopter?

.3.1 V: Yes, ready for helicopter.

.3.2 V: No, not ready for helicopter (yet).

.3.3 V: Ready for helicopter in ... minutes.


.4 H: MV ... , helicopter is on way to you.

.5 H: MV ... , what is your position.

.5.1 V: My position ... .

.6 H: MV ... , what is your course and speed.

.6.1 V: My course ... degrees, speed ... knots.

.7 H: MV ... , make identification signals.

.8 V: Making identification signals.

.8.1 V: Making identification signals by smoke (buoy).

.8.2 V: Making identification signals by search light.

.8.3 V: Making identification signals by flags.

.8.4 V: Making identification signals by signalling lamp.

.9 H: MV ... , you are identified.

.10 H: MV ... , what is relative wind direction in degrees and knots.

.10.1 V: Relative wind direction ... degrees and ... knots.

.11 H: MV ... , keep wind on starboard bow.

.11.1 V: Keeping wind on starboard bow.

.12 H: MV ... , keep wind on port bow.

.12.1 V: Keeping wind on port bow.

.13 H: MV ... , keep wind on starboard quarter.

.13.1 V: Keeping wind on starboard quarter.

.14 H: MV ... , keep wind on port quarter.

.14.1 V: Keeping wind on port quarter.

.15 H: MV ... , indicate landing area.

.15.1 V: Landing area ... .

.16 H: MV ... , indicate pick‑up area.

.16.1 V: Pick‑up area ... .

.17 H: MV ... , can I land on deck?

.17.1 V: Yes, you can land on deck.

.17.2 V: No, you cannot land on deck (yet).

.17.2.1 V: You can land on deck in ... minutes.

.18 H: MV ... , I will use hoist.

.18.1 H: MV ... , I will use rescue sling.

.18.2 H: MV ... , I will use rescue basket.

.18.3 H: MV ... , I will use rescue net.

.18.4 H: MV ... , I will use rescue litter.

.18.5 H: MV ... , I will use rescue seat.

.18.6 H: MV ... , I will use double lift.

.19 V: I am ready to receive you.

.20 H: MV ... , I am landing.

.21 H: MV ... , I am starting operation.

.22 H: MV ... , do not fix hoist cable.

.23 H: MV ... , operation finished.

.24 H: MV ... , I am taking off.


III / 5.2 Ice ‑ breaker operations

5.2.1 Ice ‑ breaker request

.1 I am fast on ice in position ... .

.2 I require ice‑breaker assistance to ... .

.2.1 Ice‑breaker assistance will arrive at ...hours local time /within ... hours.

.2.2 Ice‑breaker assistance not available until ...hours local time.

.2.3 Ice‑breaker assistance available only up to latitude... longitude....

.3 Ice‑breaker assistance suspended until...(date and local time).

.3.1 Ice‑breaker assistance suspended after sunset.

.3.2 Ice‑breaker assistance suspended until favourable weather conditions.

.3.3 Ice‑breaker assistance resumed at ...hours local time.

5.2.2 Ice ‑ breaker assistance for convoy

(Ice‑breaker commands applying to all the vessels in a convoy have to be immediately obeyed and confirmed consecutively by each vessel in turn. Ice‑breaker commands applying to a single vessel are confirmed only by that vessel, this applies also for close coupled towing.)

.1 Ice breaker assistance for convoy will start now / at ...hours local time..

.2 Stand by on VHF channel ... .

.2.1 Standing by on VHF channel ... .

.3 Keep lookout for sound and visual signals.

.3.1 Keeping lookout for sound and visual signals.

.4 Your place in convoy is number ... .

.4.1 My place in convoy number ... .

.5 MV ... will follow you.

.5.1 MV ... will follow me.

.6 You will follow MV ... .

.6.1 I will follow MV ... .

.7 Go ahead and follow me.

.7.1 Going ahead and following you.

.8 Do not follow me.

.8.1 I will not follow you.

.9 Proceed along ice channel.

.9.1 Proceeding along ice channel.

.10 Increase your speed.

.10.1 Increasing my speed.

.11 Reduce your speed.

.11.1 Reducing my speed.

.12 Reverse your engine(s).

.12.1 Reversing my engine(s).

.13 Full ahead.

.13.1 Full ahead.

.14 Stop engine(s).

.14.1 Engine(s) stopped.

.15 Keep distance of ... metres/cables between vessels.

.15.1 Keeping distance of ... metres/cables between vessels.

.16 Increase distance between vessels to ... metres/cables.

.16.1 Increasing distance between vessels to ... metres/cables.


.17 Reduce distance between vessels to ... metres/cables.

.17.1 Reducing distance between vessels to ... metres/cables.

.18 Stand by for receiving towing line.

.18.1 Standing by for receiving towing line.

.19 Stand by for let go towing line.

.19.1 Standing by for let go towing line.

.18 Switch on bow / stern search light

.20.1 Bow/stern search light switched on.

.21 Stay where you are.

.21.1 I will stay where I am.

.22 Ice‑breaker assistance for convoy finished.

.22.1 Open water ahead.

.22.2 Light ice condition ahead.

.22.3 Proceed by yourself (to area ...).

.22.3.1 Proceeding by myself (to area ...).

.23.4 Ice‑breaker ... will escort you.

5.2.3 Ice ‑ breaker assistance in close coupled towing

.1 Stand by for close coupled towing.

.1.1 Standing by for close coupled towing.

.2 Veer out your anchors under hawse‑pipes.

.2.1 Anchors veered out under hawse-pipes.

.3 Pass heaving lines through hawse‑pipes.

.3.1 Heaving lines passed through hawse-pipes.

.4 Receive towing line on deck.

.4.1 Towing line received on deck.

.5 Lash together eyes of towing line with manila lashing.

.5.1 Eyes of towing line lashed with manila lashing.

.6 Fasten towing line on towing bitts.

.6.1 Towing line fastened on towing bitts.

.7 I start to draw your bow into stern notch of ice‑breaker.

.8 Stand by for cutting manila lashing if required.

.8.1 Standing by for cutting manila lashing if required.

.9 Keep yourself in centre‑plan of ice‑breaker.

.9.1 Keeping myself in centre-plan of ice-breaker.

III / 6 Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Standard Phrases

( including Emergency Services and Allied Services)

Application of Message Markers

In order to especially facilitate shore-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication or radio communication in general or when one of the Standard Marine Communication Phrases will not fit the meaning desired, one of the following eight Message Markers may be used to increase the probability of the purpose of the message being properly understood.


It is at the discretion of the shore personnel or the ship´s officer whether to use one of the message markers and if so which of them to apply depending on his/her qualified assessment of the situation. If used the message marker is to be spoken preceding the message or the corresponding part of the message. The IMO VTS Guidelines recommend that in any message directed to a vessel it should be clear whether the message contains information, advice, warning, or instruction and IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrases should be used where practicable.

For further standardized VTS communications, also see other sections of PART III. For VTS Standard Reporting Procedures see " IMO resolution A.648(16) on general principles for ship reporting systems and ship reporting requirements, including guidelines for reporting incidents involving dangerous goods, harmful substances and /or marine pollutants".

Note: All of the following phrases must come as the culmination (message content) of a radio message exchange between two stations in the Maritime Mobile Service, as laid down by the ITU Regulation.

Definite instructions on how to carry out these procedures may be found in the Seaspeak Training Manual (ISBN 0 08 031555 0).

Message Markers

(i) INSTRUCTION

This indicates that the following message implies the intention of the sender to influence others by a Regulation.

Comment: This means that the sender, e.g. a VTS - Station or a naval vessel, must have the full authority to send such a message. The recipient has to follow this legally binding message unless s/he has contradictory safety reasons which then have to be reported to the sender.

Example: "INSTRUCTION.( You must ) alter course."

(ii) ADVICE

This indicates that the following message implies the intention of the sender to influence others by a Recommendation.

Comment: The decision whether to follow the ADVICE still stays with the recipient. One does not necessarily have to carry out the ADVICE, but should consider it very carefully.

Example: "ADVICE. (Advise you) stand by on VHF channel six nine."

(iii) WARNING

This indicates that the following message implies the intention of the sender to inform others about danger.

Comment: This means that any recipient of a WARNING should pay immediate attention to the danger mentioned. Consequences of a WARNING will be up to the recipient.

Example: "WARNING. Obstruction in fairway."


(iv) INFORMATION

This indicates that the following message is restricted to observed facts, situations, etc..

Comment: This marker is preferably used for navigational and traffic information, etc.. Consequences of an INFORMATION will be up to the recipient.

Example: "INFORMATION. Tanker stop in area Cod End Bank due to poor visibility."

(v) QUESTION

This indicates that the following message is of interrogative character.

Comment: The use of this marker removes any doubt on whether a question is being asked or statement being made, especially when interrogatives such as What, Where, Why, Who, How are additionally used at the beginning of the question. The recipient is expected to return an answer.

Example: "QUESTION.( What is ) your draft?"

(vi) ANSWER

This indicates that the following message is the reply to a previous answer.

Comment: Note that an answer should not contain another question.

Example: "ANSWER. My maximum draft seven metres."

(vii) REQUEST

This indicates that the following message is asking for action from others with respect to the vessel.

Comment: The use of this marker is to signal: I want something to be arranged or provided, e.g. ship´s stores requirements, tugs, permission, etc..

Note: REQUEST must not be used involving navigation, or to modify COLREGS.

Example: "REQUEST. (Please) supply bunkers."

(viii) INTENTION

This indicates that the following message informs others about immediate navigational action intended to be taken.

Comment: The use of this message marker is logically restricted to messages announcing navigational actions by the vessel sending this message.

Example: "INTENTION. I will reduce speed."


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