Quick, easy and above all reliable

06 March 2019

John Dodd, Director, Safety Services Inmarsat Maritime

  • maritime

  • safety

Since Fleet Safety gained full Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) approval from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) back in May 2018, the Inmarsat Maritime Safety team has been working tirelessly to further enhance the service and support Search and Rescue training on both Fleet Safety and RescueNET systems.

Fleet Safety enables FleetBroadband terminals to be GMDSS compliant by providing IMO approved services such as data and voice distress alerts, reception of Maritime Safety Information (MSI), Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT), Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), and short access codes for medical and maritime assistance.

Fleet Safety also provides a host of new innovative safety features, including:

  • Access to the closest geographically defined Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC)
  • Ability to manually select a preferred MRCC
  • Distress Chat, which allows MRCCs to coordinate a full Distress priority chat room, including the ability to add multiple vessels and MRCCs in one place to greatly assist in a rescue operation
  • MSI Pull, which enables a vessel to search and retrieve vital Maritime Safety Information that may have been missed due to being in port or the terminal having been switched off, meaning they do not have to wait for the next scheduled broadcast

Fleet Safety links directly to our RescueNET system, a free Inmarsat Search and Rescue platform, currently used globally by over 30 MRCCs via the Inmarsat satellite and safety network. RescueNET enables MRCCs to receive Distress and Search and Rescue (SAR) communications directly from vessels, as well as being interoperable with legacy Inmarsat C / Mini C terminals for broadcasting of Distress Alert Relay and Search and Rescue Coordination messages.

These two award-winning systems are the only IP-based maritime safety service, greatly increasing the speed and flexibility of maritime safety.

Live trials at sea

Regular live user validation exercises have taken place around the world over the last six months, on Stena Line’s ro-pax ferry Stena Nordica, vehicle carrier Southern Highway, and with MRCCs, including in the UK and Riga, Latvia. The latest exercise was conducted in February from the UK Coast Guard National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham, with simulated emergency scenarios, including a fire and explosion, on board the Stena Nordica dealt with via RescueNET. The exercise was an overwhelming success, with extremely positive feedback from both the vessel and the UK Coast Guard.

With over 30 MRCCs having access to RescueNET and utilising it for MSI Distress broadcasts, vessel database access as well as Distress Chat, it is vital that we continue user evaluation trials across both systems. These trials will ensure that Fleet Safety and RescueNET continue to be of the highest standard and deliver the most reliable form of GMDSS communications with the best user experience possible – after all, safety services should be quick, easy and above all reliable.