1) The rescue coordination centre responsible for controlling a search and
rescue operation shall also coordinate the distress traffic relating to the incident or may appoint
another station to do so. (WRC-07)
2) The rescue coordination centre coordinating distress traffic, the unit
coordinating search and rescue operations9
or the coast station involved may impose silence on
stations which interfere with that traffic. This instruction shall be addressed to all stations or to
one station only, according to circumstances. In either case, the following shall be used:
in radiotelephony, the signal SILENCE MAYDAY, pronounced as the
French expression “seelonceall stations, m'aider”;
in narrow-band direct-printing telegraphy normally using forward-error
correcting mode, the signal SILENCE MAYDAY. However, the ARQ mode may be
used when it is advantageous to do so.
§ 29 Until they receive the message indicating that normal working may be
resumed (see No. 32.51), all stations which are aware of the distress traffic, and which are not
taking part in it, and which are not in distress, are forbidden to transmit on the frequencies in
which the distress traffic is taking place.
In accordance with the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (1979) this is the
on-scene commander (OSC) or the coordinator surface search (CSS).