Transmit a May Day distress call only when imminent danger threatens life or property and immediate assistance is required. Transmit a Pan-Pan ("Pahn Pahn") urgency call when the safety of a person or vessel is in jeopardy, but the danger is not life threatening. Transmission of a Pan Pan follows the same format as given for a May Day below.
(I) BEFORE EVERY TRIP
- Review radio manuals (VHF and SSB) for transmission of distress signals using their GMDSS features.
- Tape the instructions beside each radio.
- Do a radio check on an appropriate frequency.
- Review operation of the EPIRB.
- Test the EPIRB.
- Charge the hand-held VHF.
(II) IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY
- Transmit May Day on the SSB and the VHF while you still have power.
- Transmit using the emergency buttons of each radio according to the manual instructions.
- Transmit May Day on Channel 16 as follows:
- May Day, May Day, May Day
- This is 'Vessel Name' repeated three times, followed by Ship Station License callsign
- May Day
- 'Vessel Name' is at Position (Lat and Long), or distance and bearing from landmark
- We are (describe nature of emergency)
- We require (describe nature of assistance needed)
- Aboard are (describe number of people, age and condition if relevent)
- We have (describe safety equipment)
- 'Vessel Name' is (description: length, sail/power, design type, hull color, trim color)
- If there is no response after a few moments, repeat the above message.
(III) TO CANCEL A MAY DAY
[If you have transmitted a May Day or Pan Pan, and later find you no longer need assistance, you must cancel it.]
- May Day
- Hello all stations, hello all stations, hello all stations
- This is 'Vessel Name' and callsign
- The time is .......
- Seelonce Feenee (to cancel May Day) or Cancel Pan Pan