What are distress SIGNAL used or exhibited on ship in distress?

The following signals,used or exhibited either together or separately,indicate distress and need of assistance:

  • A gun or other explosives signals fired at interval of about a minutes ,
  • A continuous sounding with any fog signalling apparatus,
  • Rocket or shells,throwing red stars fired one at the time at short intervals,
  • A signal made by a radio telegraphy or by any signalling methods consisting of group …_ _ _… (sos) in the morse code
  • A signal sent by radio telephony consisting of spoken words ¤ MAYDAY¤,,
  • The international code signals of distress indicated by N.C,
  • A signal consisting of a square flag having above or below it a ball or anything resembling a ball,
  • Flames on the vesel ( as from a burning tar barrel,oil barrel, etc),..
  • A rocket parachute flare or a hand flare throwing ared light,,
  • A smoke signal giving off orange –coloured smoke,
  • Slowly and repeatedly raising and lowering arms outstretched to each side,
  • The radiotelegraph alarm signal,
  • The radiotelephone alarm signal,
  • Signal transmited by emergency position-indicating radio beacon,
  • Approved signals transmitted by radiocommunication system,including survival craft radar transponder
  • The use or exhibition of any of the foregoing signals except for the purpose of indicating distress and need of assistance and the use of other signals which may be confused with any of the above signal is prohibited.
  • Attention is drawn to hte relevant section of the international code of signals ,the merchant ship search and rescue manual and the following signals,,..
  • A piece of orange –coloured canvas with either a black square and a circle or other appropriate symbol ,.(for identification from the air)
  • Adye marker


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