MMSI and inputting them into the radios memory

MMSI Numbers

This stands for MARITIME MOBILE SERVICE IDENTITY and is a unique 9 digit number – it is a unique number that stays with the vessel when sold.

You can apply for a new MMSI when licensing your vessel with Ofcom.

If you have more than one DSC Radio on your vessel they should each have the same MMSI number. However, any handheld DSC should be separately licensed and have its own MMSI number.

See the Licensing page of this website for more details [Licensing…].

Types of MMSI Number

There are three types of MMSI number:

Ship Station Identity starts with a non-zero digit. For example:
232000000

Group Ship Station Identity starts with a single zero. For example:
023200000

Coast Station Identity starts with a double zero. For example:
002320000

MID

The MID is the first three non-zero digits of any MMSI (for example 232 in the above examples) and are allocated to a particular country. The first digit indicates the region:

For example:

2: Europe
– UK: 232, 233, 234, 235
– France: 226, 227, 228
– Germany: 211, 218

3: North and Central America and Caribbean
– USA: 338, 366, 367, 368, 369

4: Asia
5: Oceana
6: Africa
7: South America

970: SAR Devices

List of all MID

How do I find someone MMSI?

Swap Numbers

The simplest way to find someone’s MMSI number is by swapping numbers in person in advance.

AIS

Once at sea however, it is not so easy. The only way to find an MMSI number (and other information) of a vessel near you at sea is by using AIS.

AIS or Automatic Identification System is a radio beacon that constantly transmits information about a vessel and is compulsory on large ships and ferries.

The following information is transmitted using AIS:

– Position, Heading and Speed
– Ship Name
– MMSI
– Size

Small vessels can install receivers that display this information.

See this online AIS website to get a feel for how AIS works [Marine Traffic…]

Online Database

There is also a online database which you can search [MARS…] Note: this does not include every vessel in the world as people can opt out.

Coastguard Stations

Station
MMSI
MRCC Shetland
002320001
MRCC Aberdeen
002320004
MRCC Forth
002320005
MRCC Humber
002320007
MRCC Yarmouth
002320008
MRCC Thames
002320009
MRCC Dover
002320010
MRCC Solent
002320011
MRCC Portland
002320012
MRCC Brixham
002320013
MRCC Falmouth
002320014
MRCC Swansea
002320016
MRCC Milford Haven
002320017
MRCC Holyhead
002320018
MRCC Liverpool
002320019
MRCC Belfast
002320021
MRCC Clyde
002320022
MRCC Stornoway
002320024
Jersey Coastguard
002320060

Inputting MMSI Numbers into the radios memory

Entering your MMSI

Once you have an MMSI for your vessel, you can input this into your radio. You only need to do this once – it is worth getting this correct as if you make a mistake you often cannot re-enter your MMSI (without sending back to the shop!)

Each radio has a different method for entering your MMSI number so you simply need to read the manual to get it correct.

This bit will be done for you on the course.

Entering other vessel’s MMSI Numbers

To call another vessel using DSC you will need to know its MMSI number.

When you make an individual call you can simply enter a MMSI number and then send an alert.

However, if you are calling the same vessel more than once it is quicker to put their MMSI number in the radios memory. This is like entering a contact into your mobile phone instead of typing the number each time.

On the Icom set this is done as follows:

From the start screen:

– Press MENU
– Scroll using the ARROWS to Set up
– Press ENTER
– Scroll to Add: INDV ID
– Press ENTER
– Enter the MMSI number using the ARROWS to select the number and CH button to move to the right and 16 button to move to the left.
– Once complete Press ENTER
– Enter the vessel name in the same manner as the MMSI
– Once complete Press ENTER

We will talk you through making a routing call using DSC in the DSC Call section of this website.

Entering Group MMSI Numbers

A group MMSI is useful if you are involved with a organisation with a number of boats and you might want to call all boats at once. To do this you can apply for a Group MMSI (it will start with a single zero).

Before you can send or receive alerts from this group you must enter a group MMSI into the radios “address book”. This is like joining a group email mailing list.

On the Icom set this is done as follows:

From the start screen:

– Press MENU
– Scroll using the ARROWS to Set up
– Press ENTER
– Scroll to Add: Group ID
– Press ENTER
– Enter the MMSI number using the ARROWS to select the number and CH button to move to the right and 16 button to move to the left.
– Once complete Press ENTER
– Enter the group name in the same manner as the MMSI
– Once complete Press ENTER

We will talk you through making a group call using DSC in the Group Call section of this website

If this does not make it clear, see the video below:

 

Feedback

The content of these pages is put together in good faith and is constantly evolving. It is possible that errors exist within this content.

If you spot an error or would like to add anything to these pages please contact us via email.

Reading the content of these pages is not a substitute for completing a RYA SRC Course or similar.