Originally Posted by Mike Martin
Sorry SR but you should consider deferring to my position, I was the DTI official who arranged sending my SRL database to the MCA on a weekly basis to be used in MRCCs for exactly this purpose due to the fact that there are delays updating MARS.
When I first did my SRC instructors course, some 18 months ago now, I spent a morning with Solent Coastguard looking in detail at how DSC distress alerts were received and acted upon. I asked the question regarding the database of MMSI numbers and the ability to quickly identify a vessel via it's MMSI number. I was told at that time that no such facility existed.
Now Mike, I have taken note of your comment and rather than just respond I have this morning rung Solent Coastguard and asked them what happens now.
They stated that the software currently in use does not allow for instant identification of a vessel simply via the MMSI number.
"How do you relate the MMSI number to a vessel?" I asked them, "We go to the ITU database firstly!" I was told. I said given that the ITU database can take time to be updated and in fact only identifies the owner/registered name of the vessell, what happens then? I was told that they had their own internal database where they may sometimes find the infomation. I asked if this had anything to do with CG66 and was told no!
So, to repeat myself, instant identification of a vessel via the MMSI number is not yet available. So, when a DSC distress alert is received by a coastal station, they effecticvely "see" exactly the same infomation as any other DSC enabled set - i.e MMSI number, position and the nature of the distress if the sender has used the facility.