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Distress & Safety Calls

In an emergency as part of the marine safety and communication system, you have help on Channel 16 at your fingertips wherever you may be. Emergency situations can be categorized as distress, urgency, and safety. The signals for these calls and their descriptions are as follows:

Distress:

“MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY.” This is an International Distress Signal and is an imperative call for assistance. It is used only when a life or vessel is in immediate danger.

Urgency: “PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN” (PAHN PAHN). This in the International Urgency Signal and is used when a vessel or person is in some jeopardy of a degree less than what is indicated by Mayday.

Safety: “SECURITY, SECURITY, SECURITY” (SAY-CURE-IT-TAY). This is the International Safety Signal and is a message about some aspect of navigational safety or a weather warning.

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