Standard Marine Distress Signals

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Search and Rescue/Canadian Coast Guard


Call: "Mayday!"
Give: name and position
Use: 156.8 MHz-Ch16
2182 kHz;
or use alarm signal.

406 MHz
Emergency position indicating radiobeacon

code flags.Code Flags

N over C

distress cloth.

Distress Cloth

ball over or under square.


over or under


sound signals: continuous. a black horn emitting red sound waves.

Sound Signals

Continuous: Foghorn, bell, whistle.

sound signals: 1-minute intervals. a gun or any explosive.

1-minute intervals: Gun or any explosive

flares. type a: parachute rocket; and type b: multi-star rocket.


Type A: Parachute rocket

Type B: Multi-star rocket

flare. type c: hand-held.

Type C: Hand-held

flare. type d: buoyant, floating in water.

Type D: Buoyant or hand-held orange smoke

a flashlight.


an arm signal. arms extended outwards at shoulder height.

Arm Signal

Do not use near helicopter (different meaning)

a flame.

Flame on Vessel

as from burning tar, oil in barrel, etc.

a dye marker.

Dye Marker

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