Following consultation with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Association of Marine Electronic and Radio Colleges (AMERC), the RYA has issued revised guidance regarding the procedure for sending a ‘Distress Relay’.
In a relay situation, there is no longer a requirement to send a DSC ‘Urgency Announcement’. The ‘Mayday Relay’ voice call remains unchanged and should still be transmitted as normal.
If a distress is received by DSC or voice, the skipper of a vessel should act as follows:
- Wait five minutes for the distress to be acknowledged by the Coastguard or another vessel.
- If no acknowledgement or distress working is heard, send a ‘Received Mayday’ voice call to the station in distress, then:
- Relay the distress message to the nearest Coastguard, which may be by any means, but should primarily be sent using a ‘Mayday Relay’ voice call addressed to the specific Coastguard station followed by repetition of the original ‘Mayday message’.
- The Coastguard should respond and take over distress working and co-ordinate the assistance.
- If unable to contact a Coastguard station, send a ‘Mayday Relay’ call, addressed to ‘All Stations’, followed by the repetition of the original ‘Mayday message’. You should then prepare to co-ordinate the assistance to the vessel in distress between yourself and any other vessels in the vicinity.
For the full article see this link from the RYA: Marine Radio Distress Relay Protocol