The Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) has released its interactive Guide to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) – the international radio communication system for maritime distress and safety purposes. The GMDSS Guide is now available, together with earlier released Navigation Equipment Guide, on the RTCM Website. Both guides allow free public access and assist users to determine requirements for radio and navigation systems and equipment in accordance with Chapter IV of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Deciphering the international regulations can be difficult and time-consuming. There are different requirements for ships of different sizes and services, and new regulations are often introduced on a staggered schedule. RTCM’s GMDSS Guide simplifies the process of identifying required equipment. To use the guide, just enter the vessel's type, service, tonnage, and date of build. Then provide information about where it operates. Click the button on the form and a list of required communication equipment required under the GMDSS appears. The guide is on RTCM’s public Web site and is available for anyone to use.
RTCM is an international non-profit scientific, professional and educational organization. The main objectives of the organization include studying and preparing standards and reports on maritime telecommunications and electronic navigation technologies, as well as providing services to the shipping industry and recreational boating. RTCM members are organizations from both government and the private sector. Although started in 1947 as a U.S. government advisory committee, RTCM is now an independent organization supported by its members from all over the world.