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Marine Communication Options You Didn’t Know About- Ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication are both a part of maritime communication. How sailors communicate has dramatically evolved.

Semaphores and flags were once the primary means of communication for ships at sea. Marine communication underwent a significant shift thanks to radio, which also significantly increased everyone’s level of safety.

Ships started incorporating radios that could transmit distress signals to people on land and other boats in half of the 20th century—Morse codes were utilized for marine communication.

When the 1970s came around, more study and consideration were put into it. IMO created ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication after evaluating the reflections from the International Telecommunication Union. At this point, a radio officer was no longer required to keep watch around the clock—onboard systems connected to satellites and shore stations to address marine communication. Ship-to-ship communication became possible thanks to VHF radio. Soon after, Digital Selective Calling (DSC) enabled more advanced communication features like remote control orders that could send and receive distress signals, make urgent safety calls, and broadcast routine communications. By changes addressing SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea), DSC controllers are frequently integrated with the VHF radio today.

Standard Marine Communication Expressions (IMO)

The “Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary” (SMNV) that IMO adopted in 1977 was replaced by the IMO SMCP (and amended in 1985).

The SMCP has been developed as a more standardized safety language, considering changing conditions in modern seafaring and covering all central safety-related verbal communication. The SMNV was developed for seafarers after an agreement that a common language, namely English, should be established where language difficulties arise.

The most significant safety-related domains of verbal shore-to-ship (and vice versa), ship-to-ship, and onboard communications are covered by phrases in the IMO SMCP. The goal is to overcome the issue of language barriers at sea and prevent miscommunications that could result in accidents.

The IMO SMCP is written in simplified nautical English and assumes a basic language understanding. It contains common phrases and responses for usage in everyday circumstances, such as berthing and emergency scenarios.

Marine Communication Options

Marine Networks and Communication Systems

Marine networks and communication systems refer to the many systems that ships and boats utilize to link with systems on land. Navigation, safety, weather reporting, and contact with other boats and yachts are just a few applications for maritime communications systems. The two main categories of naval communications systems are voice and data communications systems.

Systems for voice communication have been used for ship-to-ship and ship-to-land voice communications. Systems for voice communication might be either radio- or satellite-based. VHF radios and MF radios are used in radio-based voice communications systems to communicate between ships, ships, and land. Satellite phones are used in voice communications systems that use satellites to connect boats and yachts to the ground.

Data communication between ships and between ships and land is done via data communications technologies. Systems for data transmission can be radio-based or satellite-based. HF radios are used in radio-based data communications systems to communicate between ships, ships, and land. Using satellite communications, ship-to-ship, and ship-to-land communication is possible with satellite-based data communications systems.

Marine Radio telecommunication

In the previous century, radio transmission at sea underwent a sea change. Radio significantly altered marine communication at sea after the era of semaphores and flags, which is still applicable in some situations today.

Ships began equipping radios in the early 20th century to communicate distress signals with the shore and among one another. Early in the 20th century, radiotelegraphy utilizing Morse code was employed for nautical communication.

After taking into account the International Telecommunication Union’s studies, the IMO implemented a system for ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore communication in the 1970s that was partially automated, eliminating the need for a trained radio officer to keep a round-the-clock watch.

Marine Satellite Communications

Maritime users can employ satellite communications systems called marine satellite communications. They provide phone, data, and video communication between users and land-based systems.

Some of the main characteristics of marine satellite communications systems:

-The capacity to work in various environments, particularly at sea and in distant locations.

-The capability to link to a variety of gadgets, such as phones, laptops, and navigational systems

-Aptitude to provide high-speed data connections

-Voice and video calling capabilities

-Able to provide text messaging

-The ability to provide data services like email

INMARSAT gives the scope of two-way communications

The Corpas Sarsat system is restricted to receiving signals from emergency positions and locations without facilities for two-way marine communications, which indicate radio beacons. At the same time, INMARSAT provides a range of two-way communications (EPIRB).

(GMDSS) has split the world into four sub-regions for international operational needs. These four geographic divisions are denoted by A1, A2, A3, and A4.

Depending on the area of the operation-specific vessel, the boat requires several radio communication systems to be carried on board ships.

The IMO mandates the presence of two shore stations per ocean region for the HF maritime communication services that cover all seas. As required by SOLAS, practically all ships today are equipped with satellite terminals for long-range identification and tracking and the Ship Security Alerts System (SSAS).

The majority of these marine navigation tools are used during Search and Rescue operations from Maritime Rescue Coordination centers, among other methods. With these devices and other crucial navigational aids suggested by the IMO and included in GMDSS, the sea is undoubtedly much safer.

The following are some instances of marine communication methods in use today:

Satellite phone; VHF radio

radio, SSB


Marine communication between ships is carried with onboard equipment, shore stations, and satellites. The VHF radio made it possible for ships to communicate with one another. Still, Digital Selective Calling (DSC) invented digitally remote control orders for sending or receiving distress alerts, emergency or safety calls, or routine priority communications.

When appropriately used, marine radios can save lives and property. Proper maritime communication is essential for safe boating.

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