6 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS FCC LicenseGMDSS Radio Operator's License (DO)The DO qualifies the holder to operate, and make some basic equipment adjustments to, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) radio installations. It also confers the operating authority of the MP.A DO is issued for the holder's lifetime.CMA uses a COLEM to process your paper work for the FCCYou will need to pay $25.00 for this service.Cashiers office will gladly accept your money, also you can pay online.STCW CertificationSuccessfully complete a Coast Guard approved GMDSS course of at least 70 hours.DL 240
7 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS The GMDSS is an internationally recognized distress and radio communication safety system for ships replacing the previous ship to ship safety system, which relied on a manual Morse code system on 500 kHz and voice radiotelephony on Channel 16 and 2182 kHz.No need for a designated radioman.No need to listen for voice mayday calls.The GMDSS is an automated ship to shore system using satellites and digital selective calling technology.Simply push a “Hot Key” for distress.
8 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS The GMDSS is mandated for ships internationally by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), 1974, as amended in 1988.Carries the force of an international treaty. The procedures governing use are contained in the International Telecommunication Union recommendations and in the International Radio Regulations, and also carry the force of an International Treaty.
9 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS Where are the GMDSS regulations contained?The GMDSS regulations are contained in 47 C.F.R. Part 80.Most of the GMDSS regulations are in Subpart W of Part 80, but Subpart W also cross-references certain other FCC rules.International Regulations can be found in the IMO GMDSS Handbook.
10 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS What ships are affected by the GMDSS rules?cargo ships of 300 gross tons and over when traveling on international voyages or in the open seaall passenger ships carrying more than twelve passengers when traveling on international voyages or in the open seaIn other words – SOLAS vesselsMost SOLAS class fishing vessels are exempt or have waiversVessels that operate solely on the Great Lakes are not required to be compliant.
11 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS What do ships have to do to comply with GMDSS?Under SOLAS, every ship, while at sea, must have the facilities for essential communications, namely:transmitting ship-to-shore distress alerts by at least two separate and independent means;receiving shore-to-ship distress alerts;transmitting and receiving ship-to-ship distress alerts;transmitting and receiving search and rescue co-ordinating communications;transmitting and receiving on-scene communicationstransmitting and (as required) receiving signals for locating;transmitting and receiving maritime safety information;transmitting and receiving general radiocommunications to and from shore-based radio systems or networks; andtransmitting and receiving bridge-to-bridge communications.
12 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS What are the requirements regarding communications personnel aboard GMDSS ships?The FCC requires two licensed radio operators to be aboard all GMDSS certified ships, one of whom must be available to act as a dedicated radio operator during a distress situation.An IMO Convention requires all masters and mates to hold the GMDSS Radio Operator's License and attend a two week training courseDemonstrate competency with operation of the GMDSS equipment.
13 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS What about radio equipment maintenance aboard GMDSS ships?Identical to the international GMDSS regulations, the FCC regulations provide three methods to ensure that radio equipment is functionally capable of providing communications. The three methods approved for GMDSS ships are (two of the three methods are required for most ocean voyages):Shore based maintenanceAt sea maintenanceDuplication of equipmentDuplication of equipment is not equivalent to complete redundancy. Only that equipment critical to radio communications during an emergency is required.
14 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS Who can make repairs or adjustments to GMDSS radio equipment?Regulations require that GMDSS ships that choose at sea maintenance carry a licensed GMDSS radio maintainer.Land maintenance must be performed by qualified individuals or companies.All repairs must be performance verified (PVT) and logged in the vessel's GMDSS logbook.Performance verification must be under the authority of a certified GMDSS operator.A GMDSS operator may also have a maintainers license.
15 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS What equipment is necessary under the GMDSS rules?Sea area A1An area within the radiotelephone coverage of at least one VHF coast station in which continuous DSC alerting is available as defined by the International Maritime Organization. Such an area could extend typically 30 nautical miles (56 km) to 40 nautical miles (74 km) from the Coast Station.Sea Area A2An area, excluding sea area A1, within the radiotelephone coverage of at least one MF coast station in which continuous DSC alerting is available as defined by the International Maritime Organization.This area typically extends to up to 180 nautical miles (330 km) offshore during daylight hours, but would exclude any A1 designated areas.In practice, satisfactory coverage may often be achieved out to around 400 nautical miles (740 km) offshore during night time.
16 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS What equipment is necessary under the GMDSS rules?Sea Area A3An area, excluding sea areas A1 and A2, within the coverage of an INMARSAT geostationary satellite in which continuous alerting is available.Inmarsat guarantees their system will work between 70 South and 70 North though it will often work to 76 degrees South or North.Sea Area A4An area outside sea areas A1, A2, and A3 (Polar Regions).
17 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS Sea area A1 – A2 U.S. Special ConsiderationUntil an A1 or A2 Sea Area is established, GMDSS-mandated ships operating off the U.S. coast must fit to Sea Areas A3 (or A4) regardless of where they operate.U.S. ships whose voyage allows them to always remain within VHF channel 16 coverage of U.S. Coast Guard stations may apply to the Federal Communications Commission for an individual waiver to fit to Sea Area A1 requirements.Similarly, those who remain within 2182 kHz coverage of U.S. Coast Guard stations may apply for a waiver to fit to Sea Area A2 requirements.
18 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS Sea area A1 – A2 U.S. Special ConsiderationRescue 21 has been developed to enhance the United State’s response to emergencies and communication near shore – A1/A2.U.S. may be getting close to declaring a functional Sea Area A1.
19 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS Is there any equipment that is common to all GMDSS ships?GMDSS ships must carry a 406 MHz EPIRB, a VHF radio capable of transmitting and receiving DSC and radiotelephony, a NAVTEX receiver, a SART, and two-way VHF portable radios.300 – 500 GT, one SART and two survival craft transceivers (SCT).Passenger vessels and cargo vessels over 500 GT, two SARTs and three SCTs
20 Section 1 Introduction to GMDSS How can I check if my radio equipment is authorized for GMDSS use?Any equipment that is certified to meet the GMDSS requirements will have a FCC ID# and appear on the electronic "FCC Radio Equipment List" with a notation that it is authorized for GMDSS use. Further, GMDSS equipment (excluding 406 MHz EPIRBS), must have a label stating:"This device complies with the GMDSS provisions of Part 80 of the FCC Rules."
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