13/2016—Receiving Maritime Safety Information (MSI)
Masters are reminded that they should ensure their Inmarsat-C Enhanced Group Calling (EGC) receivers are configured to receive Maritime Safety Information (MSI) messages for NAVAREA X and the coastal warning areas appropriate to their intended voyage. In addition, the types of MSI to be received for the coastal warning areas need to be selected (e.g. navigational warnings, weather information).
It should be noted that ships may also need to receive MSI whilst in port.
MSI, as defined in Regulation IV/2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS 74), as amended, includes navigational and meteorological warnings, meteorological forecasts, and other urgent safety-related messages broadcast to ships.
MSI receiving capability is part of the mandatory equipment required to be carried on board ships under the provisions of SOLAS 74, Chapter IV (Radiocommunications), as amended.
Australia’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC Australia) and Bureau of Meteorology promulgate MSI for NAVAREA X through the Inmarsat-C EGC service. Such MSI is received on board ships as a SafetyNET message.
The Australian coastal area is divided into eight areas, denoted by the letters A to H. The limits of these areas and more information on MSI is provided in the Admiralty List of Radio Signals (ALRS) Volumes 3 and 5, Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters, the Australian Annual Notices to Mariners, Australian GMDSS Handbook and the IMO SafetyNET Manual.
Ships can also obtain the latest MSI from JRCC Australia via the internet.
View the latest Maritime Safety Information.
At this link, an option is available to have the latest MSI forwarded to an email address.
To ensure vessels have received all current MSI, particularly when entering NAVAREA X for the first time, entering a new coastal warning area or prior to departing a port, it is recommended that ships compare the current list of MSI received via e-mail with that received via SafetyNET.
Possible problems in receiving MSI
It is possible that problems can arise with the receipt of MSI. Some manufacturers use the term NAVTEX instead of SafetyNET for Inmarsat-C terminals in their user manuals. This can cause confusion. Australia uses the Inmarsat’s SafetyNET EGC as the primary means of promulgating MSI. Australia does not provide a NAVTEX service.
Further, it has been reported that some shipboard Inmarsat-C EGC receivers have not been correctly configured for the receipt of EGC messages. It is important to ensure that the appropriate coastal warning areas are selected on shipboard Inmarsat-C terminals.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
GPO Box 2181
CANBERRA ACT 2601