AMSA to monitor HF distress calls 24 hours

The Australian Maritime safety Authority has confirmed it will provide 24-hour nationwide monitoring of high frequency (HF) radiotelephone distress, urgency and safety communications in Australia from 1 January 2022.

This service has been provided by the States and Northern Territory (jurisdictions) since 2002, aligned with commencement of HF digital selective calling (DSC) services by AMSA.

Following a review by the jurisdictions and AMSA consideration of the implications on its regulated community, AMSA will now provide an ongoing, unified service for HF radiotelephones across Australia.

Under the program, AMSA will support three services with its HF radiotelephone capability.

  1. 24-hour nationwide monitoring of HF radiotelephone distress urgency and safety communication on 4 125, 6 215, 8 291, 12 290 and 16 420 kHz. Further detail on this service is available here: https://www.amsa.gov.au/safety-navigation/search-and-rescue/responding-search-and-rescue.
  2. Promulgation of maritime safety information (MSI) in the form of AUSCOAST and NAVAREA X navigational warnings. Further detail on this service, including timings and frequencies, is available here: https://www.amsa.gov.au/safety-navigation/navigation-systems/maritime-safety-information.
  3. 24-hour nationwide HF radiotelephone test call service on 4 125, 6 215, 8 291, 12 290 and 16 420 kHz.

There should be minimal impact on mariners during the transition of responsibility.

The new service will have no impact on:

  • Australian Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings and forecasting;
  • AMSA’s HF digital selective calling (DSC) service including navigational warnings; or
  • Ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore or shore-to-ship for general or public communication (where available).