Course Description

The purpose of this course is to meet the training requirements in STCW code, as amended, for the General Operator’s Certificate for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). A student successfully completing this course and passing the prescribed examination will be licensed and enabled to efficiently operate a ship station’s GMDSS equipment, and to have primary responsibility for radio communications during Distress incidents. STCW

Credit Hours


Contact Hours


Lecture Hours


Required Prerequisites

All prerequisites for all GLMA courses are satisfied by following the approved Course Sequence Guide and any deviation from this guide needs to be approved by the cadet's adviser.

Recommended Prerequisites or Skills Competencies

ENG 111 and MTH 111; elementary computer skills.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the principles theory behind GMDSS operation.
  • Properly operate GMDSS equipment.
  • Describe the duties of a communications officer during distress incidents aboard a merchant ship.
  • Operate GMDSS equipment.
  • Determine the capability and limitations of GMDSS equipment.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in operation, interpretation, and analysis of information obtained from GMDSS.
  • Demonstrate the principles and skills of a U.S. merchant marine officer.
Human Dimension:
  • See themselves as leaders as an U.S. merchant marine officer.
  • Clearly communicate with a diverse workforce while onboard a vessel in worldwide service.
Caring - Civic Learning:
  • Recognize the importance clear communication plays during distress incidents for the safety of the crew and vessel.
Learning How to Learn:
  • Demonstrate the STCW Code Knowledge, Understanding and Proficiencies (KUPs) for Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch: 6.1.A, 7.1.A.