Maritime safety

Why seafarers rely on Inmarsat

Safety is in our DNA – we were set up in 1979 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to provide reliable satellite safety communications.

When disaster strikes – a catastrophic storm, a collision, a medical emergency – seafarers know that they can rely on our safety services to get help fast.

We’ve continued to ensure our safety services go above and beyond the IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) requirements – by, for example, exceeding the demand for satellite and ground network availability of 99.9 per cent.

Today, over our L-band network, we support both SOLAS and non-SOLAS vessels and some 1.6 million seafarers depend on us for a communications lifeline that is reliable and unaffected by bad weather.

What is the GMDSS?

The GMDSS is an international safety system, which uses satellite and terrestrial technology and ship-board radio systems to prevent accidents from happening and to automatically alert the rescue authorities and nearby vessels quickly in an emergency.

Under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, cargo ships of 300GRT and upwards and all passenger ships on international voyages must be equipped with satellite and radio equipment that conforms to international standards.

Inmarsat is the leading provider of GMDSS-approved satellite communication services. Our Inmarsat C and Fleet 77 services have been keeping seafarers safe at sea every day since the inception of GMDSS in 1999 through the receipt and transmission of vital ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship distress alerts.

In May 2018, Fleet Safety, our next generation satellite safety service delivered over FleetBroadband and Fleet One, received formal GMDSS recognition by the IMO, marking the most significant advance in maritime safety for a generation.

Our SafetyNETSafetyNET II and RescueNET services play a crucial role in enhancing the safety of life at sea by broadcasting Maritime Safety Information and Search & Rescue – related information messages to Inmarsat C, Mini C and Fleet Safety terminals.

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