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Maritime safety improved by new communications system

Maritime safety improved by new communications system

Staff Reporter

NAMIBIA is set to experience greater opportunities as a port and coastal state as global seaborne trade is expected to triple in the next 30 years.


In this regard Namibia has reached global maritime safety standards by upgrading its Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) system, which is considered a major milestone for the country as a coastal state and budding maritime logistics hub.


“Maritime safety and Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), of which NAVTEX is a key component, are therefore critical to the furtherance of our strategic objectives as a coastal state,” said Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Sankwasa James Sankwasa during the recent inauguration of Namibia’s new NAVTEX system.

Chairperson of Telecom Namibia, Fernando Somaeb, said the NAVTEX system, positioned the country well to take advantage of future maritime growth.


NAVTEX is a navigational system used onboard the vessels to provide short-range maritime safety information on coastal waters. The new system ensures that ships in transit through Namibian waters would be able to communicate clearly with the Namibian contact centre. It is a crucial part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) which was developed by the International Maritime Organization.


The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System was developed to save lives at sea by modernizing and enhancing the maritime radio communications system through satellite and digital selective calling technology.


Unlike the old maritime radio communication services, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System provides a more effective distress alerting system by: increasing the probability that an alert will be sent when a ship is in distress; increasing the likelihood that the alert will be received; increasing the ability to locate survivors; improving rescue communications and coordination; and providing mariners with vital maritime safety information.

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