VHF Mayday Distress Alert & Voice Call:

When to make a Mayday Distress Call?

Vessel, Vehicle, Aircraft or Person is in Grave and Imminent Danger..

STEP 1)

Does the VHF have a red distress button? 
IF YES, go to Step 2
If NO, go to Step 4

STEP 2)

IF TIME ALLOWS: 

  • Press the Red Distress Button Once to initiate the menu.
  • Select the relevant option from the list on the VHF screen that is most relevant to the situation i.e. flooding, fire, collision, grounding etc

STEP 3)

Press and Hold the Red Distress Button until the 5 second count down ends. 

What does Pressing the VHF DSC Distress Button Do? 

Sends a DSC alert to all DSC enabled VHF sets 'in range' which triggers an alarm.

At minimum the following information will be sent: 

  • Your MMSI 
  • Nature of Distress (If you have selected this - See Step 2)
  • Position (If the VHF/DSC set you are using is connected to a GPS or Chart Plotter) 

How to make a Mayday Voice Call on a VHF marine radio?

STEP 4)

Select channel 16

STEP 5)

Mayday Distress call (initial shout for 'Help'):

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday

This is _____________________

Callsign: ___________________

MMSI: _____________________ (only if your VHF set is DSC enabled will you have an MMSI number)

STEP 6)

Mayday Distress Message:

M

Mayday

I know you've said it before in the initial distress call, but definitely say it again..

I

This is:________________

Vessel Name, Callsign, MMSI (if you have one)

P

My Position is:___________________

Latitude & Longitude OR bearing & distance from a charted object / place

D

Distress:____________________

Briefly explain what's wrong i.e. sinking, fire, aground  etc

A

Assistance:__________________

What do you need? i.e. Evacuation, Tow etc - how much time i.e. request immediate assistance

N

Number:____________________

How many people are onboard? 

I

Information:_______________

What else do people need to know? Particularly that which may help with the rescue..

0

Over:

OVER is an invitation for someone to reply.

Example Mayday Voice Call:

  • Mayday Mayday Mayday
  • This is RIB Erebus, Erebus, Erebus
  • Callsign: Three Romeo Delta Charlie
  • MMSI: 232099802
  • Mayday
  • RIB Erebus
  • My Position Is: Five Zero Degrees Two Three Decimal Four Two North, Three Degrees Four Five Decimal Four Six West
  • We have a Fire onboard
  • Require Immediate assistance
  • Four persons onboard
  • Evacuating to liferaft
  • Over

TEST YOURSELF:

Download
Mayday Distress Call Scenario Test.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 95.4 KB

CHECK YOURSELF:

Download
Mayday Distress Call Scenario Test Check
Adobe Acrobat Document 96.0 KB