29AEarly Notification of Search and Rescue Authorities of Developing Situations

In the interest of ensuring the highest level of safety, mariners should immediately notify the Canadian Coast Guard, through any Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre, of any situation which is or may be developing into a more serious situation requiring assistance from the Search and Rescue (SAR) System. The need for the earliest possible alerting of SAR Authorities to potential maritime emergencies cannot be over-emphasized.

This advice is given in accordance with IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.892/Rev.1 and similar advice found in the ICAO/IMO International Aeronautical and Maritime SAR (IAMSAR) Manual Volume III. Further, there have been similar recommendations arising from serious SAR cases in the Canadian SAR Region where masters have failed to provide this notice until after the situation deteriorated.

This notification allows SAR authorities to carry out preliminary and contingency planning that could make a critical difference if the situation worsens. Time lost in the initial stages of a SAR mission may be crucial to its eventual outcome.

It is always best to consider the “worst-case scenario” and to alert SAR authorities accordingly. This notification places no obligations upon the master except to advise the Canadian Coast Guard when the situation has been corrected.

Authority: Canadian Coast Guard

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