WHAT IS GMDSS?
GMDSS is the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, is the international system of marine communications at sea. It includes Marine radio (VHF, MF, HF), Search and rescue transponders, satellite beacons and satellite communications by Inmarsat and Iridium.
WHAT ARE THE 4 GMDSS COURSES?
There are four separate marine radio courses in the UK and Europe. Anyone can take any of the four courses, there is no requirement to hold one certificate before taking a higher level course (however we recommend you hold the 1-day SRC before progressing to the 4-day LRC course.
- SRC – Short Range Certificate 1-day or online course (min age 16)
- LRC – Long Range Certificate 4-day course (min age 18)
- ROC – Restricted Operator’s Certificate 3-day course (min age 18)
- GOC – General Operator’s Certificate 8-day course (min age 18)
The table below identifies which GMDSS certificate you are required to hold;
|Sea Area A1||Sea Areas A2 – A4|
|Type of vessel||VHF Range of coast station||Beyond VHF Range|
|Yacht, Workboat, Fishing Vessel under 24m or Cargo ship under 300 gt||SRC or higher||LRC or GOC|
|Yacht, Workboat, Fishing Vessel over 24m, Cargo Ship over 300 gt or Passenger Ship (any size)||ROC or GOC||GOC|
WHAT IS THE LRC SATELLITE MODULE?
Seafarers operating offshore and using GMDSS satellite equipment such as Inmarsat C, Inmarsat Fleet Broadband (with MST) or Iridium GMDSS require an appropriate certificate. Satellite is included within the GOC course, however small craft operators may upgrade their LRC by attending a one-day LRC Satellite Module course and exam.
SHORT RANGE CERTIFICATE -VHF
VHF (Very High Frequency) is the standard marine radio around the coastline. The RYA Short Range Certificate (SRC) course can be taken online or in the classroom.
The SRC course is followed by the RYA SRC Exam which is usually taken at our centre. If you book the classroom course there is no need to book the exam as it will follow on at the end of the day. If you book the online course then we will need to agree a time for the face to face exam (which can only be take in person, not online). Most online students take the exam at our centre in Southampton or Helensburgh, but we have access to examiners across the globe.
LONG RANGE CERTIFICATE – VHF, MF /HF (SSB)
Medium Frequency and High Frequency sets, often know as Single Sideband (SSB) give the operator more range and are popular for ocean cruising, blue water sailing and long distance passages. The LRC refreshes and builds on the content of the SRC.
If the vessel is fitted with SSB then there is a legal requirement for the operator to be trained and qualified in its use. The 4-day course includes the AMERC exam on the final day.
If the vessel is fitted with GMDSS satellite equipment such as Inmarsat C, you can attend a separate 5th day to obtain the Satellite Endorsement to your LRC.
RESTRICTED OPERATOR CERTIFICATE – VHF
The ROC is basically the commercial seafarers equivalent of the SRC. Like the SRC course this longer courses focuses on VHF Radio. The longer course is required by SOLAS vessels over 24m. It can be use on any sized vessel as an alternative to the SRC.
GENERAL OPERATOR CERTIFICATE – VHF, MF /HF & Inmarsat
The GOC is basically the commercial seafarer’s equivalent of the LRC and sits above the other 3 courses. The GOC holder can operate any marine radio on on any vessel, at sea anywhere in the world. Like the LRC course this longer courses focuses on long range communication, so covers MF and HF (SSB) as well as Inmarsat C and Inmarsat Fleet Broadband. The course is required by vessels over 24m. It can be used by anyone as an alternative to SRC, LRC or ROC. The 8-day course includes a 2.5 hour exam on the last day.
Content of the GMDSS Courses
|Overview of GMDSS||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|Hand Held VHF||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|GMDSS Survival Craft HH VHF||✅||✅||✅|
|Voice Procedures (RT)||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|Class D VHF inc. DSC (short range radio)||✅||✅|
|Class A VHF inc. DSC (short range radio)||✅||✅||✅|
|MF inc. DSC (medium range radio)||✅||✅|
|HF inc. DSC (long range radio)||✅||✅|
|Acknowledging distress alerts||✅||✅||✅|
|Backup power supply||✅||✅||✅|
|Inmarsat Fleet Broadband||✅||✅|
Maritime & Coastguard Agency MCA MSN 1864 outlines the requirements for radio operators in the UK and on UK vessels.