European Space Agency

MST – Fact sheet (supplied by Inmarsat)



The IMO and industry are keen to have a standardised display on board safety terminals. This makes life easier in a distress situation as no matter what make or type of Inmarsat Fleet Safety terminal the seafarer uses, the layout and style will be the same.

Distress Alerting

This is the main function of GMDSS. Enabling a vessel to contact the rescue authorities with full distress priority, when there is imminent danger to loss of life or vessel.

Voice Distress

Similar to Distress Alert, Voice Distress enables the vessel in distress to contact the rescue authorities via a distress priority voice call at the press of a button.

Reception of Maritime Safety Information

This is the preventative side of GMDSS, with over 30,000 messages sent every month, vessels receive maritime safety information free of charge such as navigational warnings and alerts, meteorological warnings and alerts as well as Search and Rescue broadcasts. This ensures the vessel has access to vital information to keep everyone safe.

Safety, Urgency and Distress priority messaging from ship to shore and shore to ship

This function enables both the rescue authorities and vessels to communicate point to point with full Distress, Urgency and Safety priority to assist with rescue coordination and medical emergencies.

Capability to search for current and historic Maritime Safety Information  (MSI) broadcasts

This is a brand new service made available from the Fleet Safety MST. If a vessel has to close down its communications whilst in port or for maintenance, they will not receive their Maritime Safety Information broadcasts. With this new service, the seafarer can search and request any MSI messages they may have missed.

Automatic geographical defined Rescue Co-ordination Centre routing

This system routes Distress traffic to a geographically defined Rescue Co-ordination centre, meaning the closest most appropriate RCC will receive the Distress message, saving valuable time in a distress situation.

Ability to select a defined Rescue Co-ordination Centre

A new service that allows the vessel to choose a defined RCC, this may be one that can assist with language barriers in a distress situation or one that is best equipped for the type of vessel.

Access to all IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System registered RescueCo-ordination Centres around the world

All RCC that are associated with the Inmarsat Safety Systems are registered on the IMO GISIS, giving the seafarer reassurance that the rescue authority is capable of dealing with any situation.

Prioritising of emergency voice and data over non-essential GMDSS traffic

All the communications through the Fleet Safety MST has a higher priority than Inmarsat commercial traffic, meaning no matter what is going on around the world, the Safety, Urgency and Distress communications will always get through first.

Distress priority Chat functionality to support real-time communications between search and rescue and seafarers

This is a brand new service only available on the Fleet Safety MST. This allows the RCC to open a Chat room session with the vessel in distress, dedicated to SAR operations, with full Distress priority. The RCC can also instantly invite other RescueNET RCCs and other Fleet Safety MST users within the area to join the Distress Chat and assist with the rescue operation.

Maritime safety and broadband services are combined in a single terminal making the adoption of fleet safety hassle-free

Fleet Safety MST connects to the FleetBroadband system. The MST enables all the GMDSS functions whilst the FleetBroadband gives the vessel access to high speed voice and data communications.