Bermuda Maritime Operations Center
Located in St. George on top of the Fort George Hill, Bermuda Maritime Operations Center works under the Department of Marine and Port Services of Bermuda Government. The main functions of the center includes being a Rescue Coordination Center, a Coastal Radio Station and a Vessel Surveillance Center.
The center is located in a building that used to be Fort George
, a fort built by the British originally in early 1600s to protect St. George's and the surrounding water area approaches. Formerly Bermuda Harbor Radio that used to assist the vessels approaching Bermuda, is now part of the Bermuda Maritime Operations Center (BMOC).
BMOC keeps a 24-hour distress watch on the surrounding Atlantic area over VHF Channel 16, and also 2182 kHz, 4125kHz. So if you are approaching Bermuda by an Yacht, you can always call the Center on these lines. They also keep a constant watch on the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) frequency of 2187.5 kHz and Digital Selective Call (DSC) distress frequency VHF Channel 70.
They broadcast NAVTEX messages on a frequency 518 kHz that can be typically received up to a distance of 300 miles out from Bermuda. If you are sailing into Bermuda by a private yacht, before you begin your voyage it is always recommended that you get in touch with Bermuda Maritime Operation Center and provide your vessel, crew and other information to them. Either you can fill up a pre-arrival form online on their website www.rccbermuda.bm or call them up at 441/297-1010.
They can then assist you and guide you as you approach Bermuda. Otherwise they will anyway ask for these information when you come close to Bermuda and approach the St. George harbor area. The center also assigns Customs Duty Officer to take care of your customs, immigration and health clearances on arrival.
BMOC regularly sends out notices to mariners, issues local navigational warnings, and provides Atlantic and Bermuda marine weather forecasts round the clock according to an internationally published schedule. Local weather report is broadcast all the time for mariners in VHF Weather Channel 2 (WX 02), frequency 162.4 MHz.
While the center is also responsible for coordinating Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, in practice such operations can be handled effectively and consistently up to 30 miles out from Bermuda. However BMOC is in continuous touch with the coast guards of US, Caribbean and European countries to coordinate rescue and other emergency operations. From Bermuda, the rescue operations are primarily done through a combined assistance from Department of Marine and Ports Services, the Bermuda Police Marine Section and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
They deploy various types of rescue vessels suitable for shallow reef areas or the oceanic environment as the need may be. The BMOC also uses a radar surveillance system to ensure that ships and other vessels stay clear of the protected reef areas that extend up to 20 miles from the northern shore of Bermuda. This is done for the conservation of reef system around Bermuda.
Contacts / Communications with BMOC
Phone: 441/297-1010; Fax: 441/297-1530.
Emergency Call: Dial 911 and ask for Marine Rescue
Telex: INMARSAT C (581) 431010110 / INMARSAT C (584) 431010120
MMSI: 003100001 (MF and VHF DSC)
SSB R/T: 2,182 kHz or 4,125 kHz USB
Marine VHF Channels: 16 or 27
Location of BMOC
19 Fort George Hill, St. George's GE 02, Bermuda
Bermuda Maritime Operations Center is located in St. George's parish and in St George Island. It's on top of Fort George hill. But the steep uphill walk is rewarded by the fort with its great historic significance and marvelous view of the harbor. Bus routes #1, 3, 10 and 11 operate between Hamilton and St. George.
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