This priority is below Distress and indicates a station broadcasting an urgent message concerning the safety of a person or vehicle. It is used when there is no immediate danger and that immediate assistance is not required or fully justified. This category has priority over all other communications except Distress.

It is sometimes difficult to determine whether a particular situation is grave and imminent or simply urgent. For example, if your vessel has broken down and drifting onto rocks and will be on the rocks in 20 minutes, then that could be considered Distress. But if the time is 4 hours, then may be it is an Urgency situation.

If you have an urgent message about the health of a person and require medical advice (Medico), then you can be put in touch with a doctor via a CRS or if you require evacuation of a casualty, then a Medical Evacuation (Medivac) can be provided by the Coastguard.

After broadcasting an Urgency Alert on VHF CH 70 the VHF radio will switch automatically to the VHF CH 16 and voice communication follows on VHF CH 16 commencing with the procedure word Pan Pan. Urgency Alerts can be addressed to either all stations or to an individual station (not on the Class D DSC controller).


PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN

ALL STATIONS, ALL STATIONS, ALL STATIONS or
(Name of individual station spoken 3 times)

THIS IS (MMSI of the vessel), (Name of the vessel spoken 3 times), (Call sign of the vessel)

POSITION (Vessel's position)

(Reason for call, Assistance required, Number of people onboard, Information that could help rescue)

OVER
Pattern of an Urgency Call and Message

PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN

ALL STATIONS, ALL STATIONS, ALL STATIONS

THIS IS 278054321, Spinaker, Spinaker, Spinaker, call sign Sierra 5 Lima 1 2

POSITION 450 36' North 0130 32' East

Medivac

Injured crewman requires medical evacuation

Steaming towards Trieste speed 6 knots

OVER
An example of an Urgency Call and Message

Practice on VHF radio simulator

The following indicates the procedure for broadcasting an Urgency Alert on VHF CH 70 using the VHF DSC controller:
  1. Press Call softkey
  2. Press Type softkey twice to scroll through different types of calls to the Urgency Call
  3. Press Send softkey
  4. Press E key


The setting up and broadcasting of an Urgency Alert on VHF CH 70

Urgency Alert is transmitted to All Ships on VHF CH 70. Follow with voice communication on VHF CH 16 commencing with the procedure word Pan Pan.

Reception of an Urgency Alert

After the reception of an Urgency Alert on VHF CH 70 the VHF radio will switch automatically to the VHF CH 16 and Urgency Message on VHF CH 16 must be listened. If we are in position to assist, we should answer with voice communication on VHF CH 16. If an Urgency Alert is not followed by an RT broadcast on VHF CH 16, wait for 3 minutes and if nothing is heard, notify the shore authorities and resume normal working.

Practice on VHF radio simulator

After the reception of an Urgency Alert press softkey OK to cancel ringing and to clear the display. Press softkey Stop to cancel ringing only.


Reception of an Urgency Alert