Following consultation with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Association of Marine Electronic and Radio Colleges (AMERC), the RYA has issued revised guidance regarding the procedure for sending a ‘Distress Relay’.

In a relay situation, there is no longer a requirement to send a DSC ‘Urgency Announcement’.  The ‘Mayday Relay’ voice call remains unchanged and should still be transmitted as normal.

If a distress is received by DSC or voice, the skipper of a vessel should act as follows: 

  1. Wait five minutes for the distress to be acknowledged by the Coastguard or another vessel.
  2. If no acknowledgement or distress working is heard, send a ‘Received Mayday’ voice call to the station in distress, then:
  3. Relay the distress message to the nearest Coastguard, which may be by any means, but should primarily be sent using a ‘Mayday Relay’ voice call addressed to the specific Coastguard station followed by repetition of the original ‘Mayday message’.
  4. The Coastguard should respond and take over distress working and co-ordinate the assistance.
  5. If unable to contact a Coastguard station, send a ‘Mayday Relay’ call, addressed to ‘All Stations’, followed by the repetition of the original ‘Mayday message’. You should then prepare to co-ordinate the assistance to the vessel in distress between yourself and any other vessels in the vicinity.  

For the full article see this link from the RYA: Marine Radio Distress Relay Protocol

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