Vessel emergency codes
In addition to distress signals like Mayday and pan-pan, most vessels, especially passenger ships, use some emergency signals to internally alert the crew on board, and in some cases also the passengers. These can be in form of blasts on alarm bells, sounding the ship's whistle or code names paged over the PA system.
- Mr. Skylight paged over the PA system is an alert for the crew on board and means there is a minor emergency somewhere.
- Mr. Mob means man overboard. Man overboard can also be signaled with three prolonged blasts on the ship's whistle and general alarm bell (Morse code "Oscar").
- Code Blue usually means a medical emergency.
- Assemble at Muster Stations seven or more short blasts on the ship's whistle and general alarm, followed by one long blast.
- Fire and emergency, continuous ringing of the general alarm bell for ten seconds and a continuous sounding of the ship's whistle for ten seconds.
- Red Parties, Red Parties, Red Parties, used by Disney Cruise Line over the PA system to alert the crew of a fire or possible fire on board the ship. The message is immediately followed by information regarding where said fire is located aboard the ship.
- Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, used by many cruise lines to alert crew to a fire or other serious incident on board without alarming passengers.
- Alpha, Alpha, Alpha, is the code for Medical Emergency aboard Royal Caribbean ships.
- Star Code, Star Code, Star Code, is a code for Medical Emergency aboard some cruise ships.
- Oscar, Oscar, Oscar, is the code for Man Overboard aboard Royal Caribbean ships.
- Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, is the code for a security threat aboard Royal Caribbean ships.
- Echo, Echo, Echo, is the code for a possible collision with another ship or the shore aboard Royal Caribbean ships. On board some cruise lines this means danger of high winds while at port. It alerts the crew responsible for the gangway, thrusters etc... To get into position and be ready for new maneuvers.
Notes and references
- The Joint Accident Investigation Commission of MV ESTONIA and Edita Ltd. (1997). "Final report on the MV ESTONIA disaster of 28 September 1994".
- (Swedish) Anders Bergek, Hanna Johansson, Maria Lundquist, Sara Rutgersson, Chris Ryder, Jessica Stark, Maria Stensdotter. Linköpings universitet (2003). "Sjögång och skeppsjargong".
- The Courier Online – Michael Pearson (2002). "Semester at Sea: "Innocents Abroad, 2002"".
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2000). "General Shipboard Policy Information".
- United States Coast Guard – Ken Olsen (200?). "Report of Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Fire aboard Royal Caribbean International Passenger Vessel Nordic Empress".