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As per International Regulations For Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) stated in Rule 38 and International Code of Signals (INTERCO) under International Maritime Organization, distress can be indicated by any of the following officially sanctioned methods:
- transmitting a spoken voice Pan-pan, or a Mayday message by radio over very high frequency (shorter range VHF) channel 16 (156.8 MHz) and/or high frequency (longer range HF) on 2182 kHz
- transmitting a digital distress signal by activating (or pressing) the distress button (or key) on a marine radio equipped with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) over the VHF (channel 70) and/or HF frequency bands.
- transmitting a digital distress signal by activating (or pressing) the distress button (or key) on a Inmarsat-C satellite internet device
- sending the Morse code group SOS by light flashes or sounds
- burning a red flare
- emitting orange smoke from a canister
- showing flames on the vessel (as from a burning tar barrel, oil barrel, etc)
- raising and lowering slowly and repeatedly both arms outstretched to each side
- making a continuous sound with any fog-signalling apparatus.
- firing a gun or other explosive signal at intervals of about a minute
- flying the international maritime signal flags NC (November Charlie)
- displaying a visual signal consisting of a square flag having above or below it a ball or anything resembling a ball (round or circular in appearance)
-come to sea and see for yourself-