GLOBAL MARITIME DISTRESS AND SAFETY SYSTEM STATISTICS
These statistics from the USCG Atlantic Area RCC refer to the number of distress alert cases (e.g. ships sending the alert), not the number of alerts received. The USCG routinely receives numerous distress alerts, especially DSC alerts, from the ship sending the alert as well as relays of that alert from other ships. Those numerous extraneous alerts and relays are not included in the RCC statistics reported below. The USCG is not collecting similar statistics from the Pacific Area.
The documents below are Excel spreadsheets in Acrobat PDF format. Information includes numbers of real and false alerts, alerts having invalid identities, invalid positions, and no position information. Systems for which statistics are collected include MF/HF DSC, Inmarsat A, B, C, and E (EPIRB). Statistics concerning COSPAS-SARSAT EPIRB alerts are collected by NOAA. The AMVER Rescue Summary Experience provides statistics on actual distress alerts by means of alert, including both GMDSS and means, during the period 1996-1999, in both Atlantic and Pacific Areas.
USCG Atlantic Area:
(Statistics from Jan 2000 - Dec 2002 have been relocated)
- GMDSS Statistics Totals 1996 - 2000 (Jan 01)
DSC Distress Statistics
GMDSS Statistics Total of the USCG Atlantic Area available above shows a significant reduction in the number and rate of false alerts during 2000. The false alert rate for HF DSC was comparable to other GMDSS systems, including 406 MHz EPIRBs.
USCG radio watchstanders and ship operators had been overwhelmed by the number of inappropriately transmitted all-ship DSC distress relays. The USCG issued a notice to mariners in an attempt to reduce the numbers of relays. The average number of relays for each distress message transmitted was subsequently reduced significantly.