Principle : Its principle is to utilise the resources of the many merchant vessels which are at sea at any one time following a maritime incident.
Purpose : Its purpose is to maximise the efficiency in co-ordinating assistance inorder to save life and property.
Objective : Its objective is to co-ordinate mutual assistance for the purpose of distressor SAR activities.
Operating body : United States Coastguard with centres in New York and San Francisco.
Participation : It is a voluntary service and vessels over 1000 GRT which are engaged in voyages of 24 hours or more participate in it. Initial ship’s data regarding the ship’s size, speed, communications, equipment and facilities are kept in confidential record, and no information is disclosed except those relevant to SAR operations. It is a worldwide operation and free of charge with the exception of only UK stations (refer M-155).
Format : Message format can be obtained from ALRS vol.1. Additional information can be obtained from Commander Pacific Area, Commander Atlantic Area and Commandant US Coastguard.