Emergency Messages

Note the Difference between the Emergency & Urgency Format
If your situation is serious, for example someone's life is at risk, send a Mayday voice message. If it's urgent, but not life-threatening, for example your mast snaps, send a Pan-Pan message.
Messages can, of course, be sent without using DSC.

Say slowly and clearly:

      • Mayday, Mayday, Mayday

      • “This is (name of vessel)” [spoken three times]

      • “Mayday”

      • Your vessel's name, call sign and MMSI number [spoken once]

      • Your position

      • The nature of distress [for example, “the boat is sinking”]

      • Immediate assistance required

      • How many people are on board

      • Any other information

      • “Over”


Say slowly and clearly:

    • “Pan Pan, Pan Pan, Pan Pan”

    • Your MMSI number,call sign and your vessel's name [spoken three times]

    • Your position

    • The nature of the situation [for example, “rig failure”]

    • What you intend to do

    • “Over”



    DSC Distress Call:
    The MCA – Maritime Coastguard Agency advice on the format of the MAYDAY Call following the DSC message has been amended to include the ships MMSI Number. This is so that the 2 messages are “linked”.

    Please make sure you know how to send the DSC distress call. Each radio set has slight variations; accurate information is on each yacht checklist. Whether you are a skipper or crewmember, please make sure you understand how to make that call before you need it on a dark night in an emergency!

    Radio Medical Advice:
    The MCA have issued further advice, necessitated by the increasing use of Mobile phones for Medical Urgency contact. Note that the DSC Emergency Button can ONLY send Distress Alerts, not urgency alerts.