International Code of Signals, 2005 Edition (KA994E) (eBook)

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Published Date

January 2005

Also available in other formats:

International Code of Signals, 2005 Edition (KA994E) (eBook)

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The Code is intended for communications between ships, aircraft and authorities ashore during situations related essentially to the safety of navigation and persons; it is especially useful when language difficulties arise. The Code is suitable for transmission by all means of communication, including radiotelephony and radiotelegraphy.

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This edition of the Code incorporates all amendments adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee up to 2000.

Chapter I Explanations and general remarks

Chapter II Definitions

Chapter III Methods of signalling

Chapter IV General instructions

Chapter V Flag signalling

Chapter VI Flashing light signalling

Chapter VII Sound signalling

Chapter VIII Radiotelephony

Chapter IX Morse signalling by hand-flags or arms

Chapter X Morse symbols – phonetic tables – procedure signals

Chapter XI Single-letter signals

Chapter XII Single-letter signals with complements

Chapter XIII Single-letter signals between ice-breaker and assisted vessels

Chapter XIV Identification of medical transports in armed conflict and permanent identification of rescue craft

General section

I Distress – emergency


Accident – doctor – injured / sick

Aircraft – Helicopter


Boats – rafts

Disabled – drifting – sinking



Search and rescue


II Casualties – damages


Damages – repairs

Diver – underwater operations

Fire – explosion

Grounding – beaching – refloating


Towing – Tugs

III Aids to navigation – navigation – hydrography

Aids to navigation



Canal – channel – fairway


Dangers to navigation – warnings

Depth – draught

Electronic navigation

Mines – minesweeping

Navigation lights – searchlight

Navigating and steering instructions


IV Manoeuvres

Ahead – astern


To anchor – anchor(s) – anchorage

Engines – propeller

Landing – boarding


Proceed – under way


Stop – heave to

V Miscellaneous

Cargo – ballast

Crew – persons on board



Port – harbour


VI Meteorology – weather


Gale – storm – tropical storm

Ice – Icebergs


Atmospheric pressure – temperature

Sea – swell

Visibility – fog

Weather – Weather forecast


VII Routeing of ships

VIII Communications

Acknowledge – answer





Reception – transmission


IX International Health Regulations

Pratique messages

Tables of complements

Medical section

Table of contents


I Request for medical assistance

II Medical advice

Tables of complements

Medical index


Appendix 1 – Distress signals

Appendix 2 – Tables of signalling flags

Appendix 3 – Table of life-saving signals

Appendix 4 – Radiotelephone procedures

General index

A​​s a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.  

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.

Title: International Code of Signals, 2005 Edition (KA994E) (eBook)
Number of Pages: 197
Product Code: MM1308EA
ISBN: ISBN 13: 9789280141986, ISBN 10: 9280141988
Published Date: January 2005
Author: IMO

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