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Life-saving signals leaflet for ships, aircraft or persons in distress published by the MCA

Published on: 25 November 2021


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has published a new leaflet for life-saving signals which will be used by ships, aircraft or persons in distress when communicating with life-saving stations, maritime rescue units and aircraft engaged in search and rescue operations. This leaflet includes pictures and descriptive information on the different types of signals you can use when in distress at sea.

This leaflet covers signals like:

  • Surface to air signals
  • Air to surface direction signals
  • Shore to ship signals
  • Air to surface replies
  • Surface to air replies 

All of these signals include morse code alternatives.

British Marine suggests that you take the time to look over all of the signals that this leaflet shows and make sure that you know what you would need to do should something go wrong and what signals to use.