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The International Code of Signals is an international system of signals and codes for use by vessels to communicate important messages regarding safety of navigation and related matters. It covers visual, sound, and radio communications.

Every coastal and oceangoing vessel should have a copy of this book on board. This American edition is essentially the same as the international editions published by many nations. Commercial vessels are required to carry it.

46 CFR 108.713
Each vessel on an international voyage which is required to carry a radiotelegraph or radiotelephone installation in accordance with Chapter IV of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, 1960, must carry the International Code of Signals.

SOLAS, Chapter 5, Reg 21
Repeats the above requirement and adds to that “The Code shall also be carried by any other ship which, in the opinion of the Administration, has a need to use it.”

Read February 2010 Blue Water Sailing article on the value of this publication "K" is for Communicate.

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