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Merchant Shipping (Safety and Load Line Conventions) Act 1932

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Alarm, Distress and Urgency Signals

The alarm signal and the distress signal may only be used by ships in serious and imminent danger which require immediate assistance. In all other cases in which assistance is required, or in which a vessel desires to issue a warning that it may become necessary to send out the alarm signal or the distress signal at a later stage, use must be made of the urgency signal (XXX) established by the International Radiotelegraph Convention, Washington, 1927. If a ship has sent out the alarm or distress signal and subsequently finds that assistance is no longer required such ship shall immediately notify all stations concerned as provided for by the Radiotelegraph Convention in force. Article 44

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