GMDSS: benefits of digital selective calling (DSC)

MCA leaflet explaining specifications and recommendations for using VHF DSC radios on private leisure craft


GMDSS: benefits of digital selective calling (DSC)

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A global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) is a maritime communications system for all vessels. A total GMDSS system is made up of:

  • digital selective calling (DSC) via radio
  • satellite communications
  • Navtex - weather and transport information
  • search and rescue radar transponders (SARTs)
  • emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs)

A pleasure craft may not need a complete GMDSS package but MCA recommends that owners and operators make sure they at least fit a VHF DSC radio.

Find out about the benefits of having DSC equipped radios including:

  • distress alerting
  • safety broadcasts
  • routine calls
  • group calls
Published 1 August 2017
Last updated 28 September 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated version of document
  2. First published.