39 NAVAL MESSAGES TO CANADIAN MERCHANT SHIPS INCLUDING SMALL CRAFT AND FISHING VESSELS


1  IT IS IMPORTANT THAT MASTERS ENSURE THAT THIS NOTICE IS AVAILABLE TO AND UNDERSTOOD BY THEIR RADIO OFFICERS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CREW RESPONSIBLE FOR OPERATING SHIP'S RADIO EQUIPMENT.

2  Canada subscribes to the Commonwealth GBMS organization by which NAVAL MESSAGES are passed to Commonwealth Merchant Ships.

3  The procedures for passing NAVAL MESSAGES to Canadian and Commonwealth ships in Canadian areas are described hereunder. Such messages will be important and may be vital to your ship's safety and welfare.

Ships fitted with Radiotelegraph Equipment (Ocean Shipping) will comply with the procedure outlined for the GBMS Organization in Admiralty Annual Notice to Mariners No. 3A. THIS PROCEDURE WILL BE BROUGHT INTO FORCE BY CANADIAN MESSAGE A.

II Other vessels, primarily those fitted with Radiotelephone Equipment (Coastal Shipping) will be informed of the commencement of emergency procedures by a special message from National Defence Headquarters. This will be on the normal working frequency of each MCTS Centre making scheduled weather broadcasts and repeated at intervals until sufficiently promulgated. Such broadcasts will be preceded by a general call to all stations on the calling frequency. The following points concerning transmissions after emergency procedures have been brought into force are to be noted and observed:

(a) Ships are to continue to receive messages from MCTS Centres serving the waters in which they are operating.

(b) Naval messages will be broadcasted immediately following scheduled weather broadcasts.

(c) The text of each naval message will indicate the Naval Authority which has originated it and will contain if necessary, details of the locality to which it refers. The last group in the text will consist of a six figure date-time group to indicate the date and time the message was originated.

Example:

All Canadian Merchant Ships, this is St. John's Coast Guard Radio. Here is a message from National Defence Headquarters (or Maritime Command Headquarters, or Maritime Headquarters Pacific) begins ... (text). I say again... (repetition of text) ends. This is St. John's Coast Guard Radio. OUT.

(d) Messages are not to be acknowledged unless ships are specifically directed in the text to make acknowledgement.

(e) Ships are to maintain radio silence EXCEPT to transmit:

(i) reports of distress or enemy activity;

(ii) essential commercial traffic which is ship's business. In certain circumstances restrictions will be imposed on this traffic. Information and instructions for this will be given in a naval message. No private or personal messages will be permitted in any circumstances.

4  Tests of these procedures may be conducted from time to time in conjunction with Naval Exercises. The texts of test messages will always begin and end with the words, This is a test message. Masters of ships receiving a test message are required to forward brief reports by mail through their owners to National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa, Canada, stating the time and the approximate position at which the message was received.

5  Radio Officers and others concerned should note that in peace time Canadian Naval Messages and Admiralty Messages will be transmitted through Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centres only.

Authority: Department of National Defence (NDHQ)