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Global Maritime Distress and Safety System

A set of safety procedures approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the auspices of the International Convention for the Protection of Human Life at Sea (SOLAS), aimed to improve communication protocols in the event of an emergency. The GMDSS is based on terrestrial and satellite technology and shipboard radio systems, increasing safety, and making it easier to rescue distressed vessels. It has been in operation on merchant and passenger ships since 1999 and it is mandatory for all ships subject to the SOLAS.