Policy and Operational Procedures on Assistance to Disabled Vessels

Annex 2: Terminology

The following terms used in this document have the following meanings:

Distress
A search and rescue incident where there is a reasonable certainty that one or more individuals are threatened by grave and imminent danger and require immediate assistance. (Détresse)
Uncertainty
Uncertainty phase exists during a search and rescue incident when: there is doubt regarding the safety of a vessel or persons on board, a vessel has been reported overdue at destination, or a vessel has failed to make an expected position report. (Incertitude)
Alert
Alert phase exists during a search and rescue incident when: there is apprehension regarding the safety of a vessel or the persons on board, following the uncertainty phase, attempts to establish contact with the vessel have failed and inquiries addressed to other appropriate sources have been unsuccessful, or information has been received indicating that the operational efficiency of a vessel is impaired but not to the extent that a distress situation is likely. (Alerte)
Disabled
A situation wherein a vessel afloat is not in distress or immediate danger has lost all means of propulsion, steering or control to such a degree as to be incapable of proceeding to safety without assistance. (Désemparé)
When ice is present
All types of ice greater than 10 cm thick (nilas, brash, pancake ice formation) located in the immediate vicinity of the disabled vessel. (En présence de glace)
Place of refuge
A place where a ship in need of assistance can take action to enable it to stabilize its condition and reduce the hazards to navigation, and to protect human life and the environmentFootnote 1. (Lieu de refuge)
Mobile Facility
Any aircraft, vessel or other craft which may be called upon to use to support SAR operations and may need to perform on-scene coordinator functions for multiple facilities in the vicinity of a distress situation.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

International Maritime Organization, A.949(23).1.19

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