Emergency Procedures

Reporting and Alerting

Emergency Notification

In case of an emergency, external notification should be made as soon as possible in order to inform anybody who may be able to assist the ship. The extent of notification depends on the situation, the criticality and the time available, as evaluated by the ship's management.

Beside the Company, the following organizations may also have to be notified either directly or from the Company office :
  • Ship owner (especially if the ship is in management)
  • Local vessel agent
  • Port authorities
  • Local rescue centre
  • USCG
  • Local authorities
  • P&I Club local agent
  • Classification society
  • Hull underwriter
  • etc.


Always inform your company of the local organizations you contacted, so that the Company may inform the organization's head office. In practice it has been experienced that the head office was not informed (or informed too late) of a casualty by their local agent.

If a casualty occurs after the company's office hours check for who to be contacted in their private home and if arrangements have been made with a radio station in or near the company's head office.

Radio stations may be contacted via different ways:
  • directly
  • via other coastal stations (check Admiralty List of Radio Signals)
  • by Satcom
  • by phone, fax, telex if available, e-mail if available.
Most radio stations can connect the vessel with the shore staff of the company.

The vessel has to indicate the correspondent request and will pass immediately following information:
name ship
  • local time o/b
  • name captain (or representative)
  • position
  • next port of call
  • eta
  • vessel's way of calling
  • possibilities to re-contact the vessel
  • message


On Board Rescue Actions

For any accident, one will have to rely on the board resources in the initial phase of bringing the condition back to normal. Provided an efficient on board emergency preparedness, these resources may prove sufficient, e.g. for minor fires, personnel injuries, rescue actions in tanks or holds, etc.

Initial Check list
  • Emergency alarm sounded?
  • All concerned notified of site of accident ?
  • Ventilation, fire doors, watertight doors closed ?
  • Deck lighting switched on ?
  • Vessel position available in radio room ?
  • Satellite terminal and other distress transmitters (GMDSS) updated ?
  • IMDGC-Manual
  • Shipboard Management Manual
  • Emergency Contingency Plan
  • Fire Control Plan
  • Safety Manual
  • ICS Bridge Procedures Guide
  • Safety Poster regarding enclosed holds
  • Any other relevant and useful literature

Even when the situation may appear controllable, alerting and communication with external resources should be initiated.


Reporting to the company should be performed at earliest convenience, to the extent as described previously.

Distress alerting / search and rescue

When the ship is in distress, when difficulties are not mastered without assistance, and when conditions occur which may constitute a danger to others, distress alerting should be given.

Initial check list
  • DF bearing of distress message taken ?
  • Distress message re-transmitted ?
  • Continuous listening watch on all distress frequencies maintained ?
  • Merchant Ship SAR Manuals (MERSAR) consulted ?
  • Communication established between surface units and SAR
  • aircraft on 2182 kHz and / or Channel 16 ? (Check also for local distress frequencies and/or channels)
  • Position, courses and speeds of other assisting units plotted ?
  • Radar made available for locating survival craft transponder signal ?


  • Merchant Ship SAR Manual
  • Shipboard Management Manual
  • ICS Bridge Procedures Guide
  • Safety manual
  • Muster alarm list
  • Emergency Contingency Plan, Chapter 7.


In a distress situation, the Company will be notified by, and stay in communication with the Rescue Centre.

Valuable if not necessary information to be given to the Company include weather conditions, extent and means of evacuation, missing or injured personnel, ship's course, speed etc., other vessels involved, organisations notified, as well as any assistance required by the company.

We insist on the fact that all measures and/or actions taken MUST be recorded in the log book