GMDSS Service Updates

Bringing truly global GMDSS to you.

Iridium GMDSS enhances safety at sea, offering reliable coverage where no other options exist.

Scroll below for the latest details on various product and service approvals from regulatory bodies around the world. Please check back as we continue to update this page with information about Iridium GMDSS.

Rescue Coordination Centers

As the Iridium Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) rolls out, Iridium expects the number of operational RCCs will be increasing. Iridium is regularly providing updates to mariners regarding the status of the RCCs connected to the Iridium GMDSS throughout the first year of operation. It is important to know that the addition of new RCCs and Iridium Connected® GMDSS terminals to the system will be done automatically as they come online.

As required under International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution A.1001 (25), a Recognised GMDSS Provider should be connected to at least one RCC. At launch, Iridium will be connected to five RCCs around the world, which is fully compliant with IMO regulations.

Users of the Iridium Connected GMDSS terminals should ensure that they regularly check with their equipment supplier. Information is also available on the Iridium GMDSS website to ensure that users are up to date on any additions to the system.

This map shows the initial geographic areas of responsibility for the RCCs that have them. The dark blue represents the area for RCC Atlantic Area Command, the lighter blue is for RCC Pacific Area Command.

Rescue Coordination Center Mode Operational
RCC Atlantic Area Command United States Automatic X
RCC Pacific Area Command United States Automatic X
RCC Fareham United Kingdom Manual X
RCC Stavanger Norway Manual X
RCC New Zealand New Zealand Manual X
RCC Australia Australia Manual X

NOTE: RCCs throughout the world are all connected and routinely communicate to support and assist each other in Search and Rescue operations. For example, emergency communications from all over the world are routinely dealt with by the USCG RCCs who then work with a local RCC to deploy search-and-rescue (SAR) assets, regardless of the distressed vessel’s location.

Automatic Mode – Iridium GMDSS equipment has the ability to select an RCC (for emergency communications) either automatically of manually. When in automatic mode the terminal will automatically select an RCC based on their geographic area of responsibility for the RCCs in the system.

Manual Mode – Some RCCs do not have a geographic area of responsibility. However, the user of the terminal can select any specific RCC (in the Iridium GMDSS) for the terminal to always communicate with (regardless of location of the terminal). So Manual mode will override the Automatic features of the terminal and will send emergency communications to the selected RCC by default. In the table below we list the initial RCCs that will be available for Manual Selection in the column title “Mode”.

GMDSS Equipment
Type Approvals

Lars Thrane LT-3100S Approvals

SOLAS vessel owners and operators who want to use Iridium GMDSS to comply with their GMDSS requirements need to ensure that the Iridium Connected equipment they are planning to use is Type Approved by their Flag State. Below is a list of Flag States and their equipment authorization status for the Lars Thrane LT-3100S, the first Iridium Connected GMDSS terminal. We continue to update this information as it becomes available, but vessel owners/operators should check with their Flag administration for the most up-to-date information, as we expect the number of Flag States approving this equipment to grow rapidly during the first year of operation.

For vessels that are not using Iridium GMDSS Equipment to comply with their SOLAS requirements (such as non-SOLAS vessels), Type Approval is not required.

  • Antigua & Barbuda*
  • Australia*
  • Bahamas
  • Belgium*
  • Bulgaria*
  • Canada
  • Croatia*
  • Cyprus*
  • Denmark*
  • Estonia*
  • Finland*
  • France*
  • Germany*
  • Greece*
  • Ireland*
  • Italy*
  • Latvia*
  • Liberia*/**
  • Lithuania*
  • Luxembourg*
  • Malta*
  • Marshall Islands
  • Netherlands*
  • Curacao*
  • New Zealand*
  • Norway*
  • Palau</l”i>
  • Poland*
  • Portugal*
  • Romania*
  • Spain*
  • Sweden*
  • Switzerland*
  • United Kingdom*
  • Bermuda*
  • British Virgin Islands*
  • Cayman Islands*
  • Gibraltar*
  • Isle of Man*
  • United States

* Approved under Marine Equipment Directive (MED).
** Terminal must be fitted through a Service Provider approved by the Liberian Flag.

Iridium SafetyCastSM
MSI Broadcast

Maritime Safety Information (MSI) is designed to keep mariners informed of dangerous conditions or circumstances that could endanger their safety. A global network of MSI providers regularly sends out MSI via NAVTEX (shore-based broadcast systems) and EGC (Enhanced Group Call, satellite-based broadcast systems) to assist mariners to avoid various dangers and stay aware of conditions. MSI comes in two main components: Navigational Information (I.e. failure of navigational lights or submerged obstruction in a shipping channel) and Meteorological Information (I.e. regular weather forecasts and warning information, including notification of major weather events).

The Iridium EGC service is called Iridium SafetyCastSM and is a broadcast system that can send out MSI to vessels to the entire world, no matter where there are on the earth’s oceans. This is the first system to be able to do this and is free of charge to the vessel.

Other broadcast information that can be sent through the Iridium SafetyCast service includes the following Search and Rescue (RCCs), Anti-Piracy, and Ice Reports.

With a valid connection, a mariner’s Iridium Connected GMDSS terminal receives information for new areas once the associated MSI providers commence broadcasting. Below is the status of the connection for each provider (by NAVAREA or METAREA) to the Iridium GMDSS.

*The Iridium® network is capable of broadcasting MSI through Iridium SafetyCastSM to anywhere in the world. For METAREAS/NAVAREAS who have not yet opted into sharing data with Iridium, information may not be available at this time.

METAREAs

Area Country Attended Training Session Completed Agreement Sending Information to Iridium
(Operational or Test Data)
METAREA I United Kingdom
METAREA II France
METAREA III Greece
METAREA IV US
METAREA V Brazil
METAREA VI Argentina
METAREA VII South Africa
METAREA VIII India
Mauritius
METAREA IX Pakistan
METAREA X Australia
METAREA XI Japan
China
METAREA XII United States of America
METAREA XIII Russian Federation
METAREA XIV New Zealand
METAREA XV Chile
METAREA XVI Peru
METAREA XVII Canada
METAREA XVIII Canada
METAREA XIX Norway
METAREA XX Russian Federation
METAREA XXI Russian Federation
NAVAREA for GMDSS as of September 2021

NAVAREAs

Area Country Attended Training Session Completed Agreement Sending Information to Iridium
(Operational or Test Data)
NAVAREA I UK
NAVAREA II France
NAVAREA III Spain
NAVAREA IV US
NAVAREA V Brazil
NAVAREA VI Argentina
NAVAREA VII South Africa
NAVAREA VIII India
NAVAREA IX Pakistan
NAVAREA X Australia
NAVAREA XI Japan
NAVAREA XII United States of America
NAVAREA XIII Russian Federation
NAVAREA XIV New Zealand
NAVAREA XV Chile
NAVAREA XVI Peru
NAVAREA XVII Canada
NAVAREA XVIII Canada
NAVAREA XIX Norway
NAVAREA XX Russian Federation
NAVAREA XXI Russian Federation

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