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Amver System

Amver is a worldwide voluntary ship reporting system for search and rescue sponsored by the U.S. Coast
Guard. Amver’s primary function is to quickly provide SAR authorities of any country with accurate
information on the positions and characteristics of ships near a reported maritime or aviation distress that may
be able to provide assistance on the high seas. Often, Amver participating ships are the nearest vessel for
response and may be the only craft able to be on scene in time, thus easing the workload on SAR resources of
many countries. Vessels of all nations on a coastal or oceanic voyage anywhere on the globe are encouraged to
participate. Currently, there are over 14,000 vessels in the database with an average of nearly 3,000 ships on
plot each day. Amver has over 40 years of history in having merchant ships helping persons in distress at sea.

SAR authorities of any nation can request Amver information from any U.S. Coast Guard rescue coordination
center (RCC) for use during an emergency. Amver can produce a “Surface Picture” (SURPIC) that provides a
listing of vessels near the position specified. Information from the SURPIC includes each vessel’s:
• Inmarsat number
• name
• position (latitude and longitude) estimated on what the ship had previously reported
• time (in hours) and the course change needed to get to the distress position

The U.S, Coast Guard RCC can provide the SURPIC by voice (telephone or radio), e-mail or facsimile. The
actual SURPIC is a graphic display and a page of text both of which can be sent by fax or e-mail.

The “Amver SURPIC Request Form” was created to make it easy to request Amver assistance. This form can
be used as a guide when requesting by any means such as telephone, radio, e-mail or by facsimile. The U.S.
Coast Guard could explain the SURPIC data provided and how it may be put to good use in response or search

General information about the Amver program, and how vessels can voluntarily participate, is available at the
Amver Internet site of:
Amver SURPIC Request Form

Amver is a worldwide voluntary ship reporting system operated by the U.S. Coast Guard to assist vessels
in distress on the high seas or aircraft that may have to ditch. Amver can produce a “Surface Picture”
(SURPIC) that provides a listing of vessels from closest to farthest away and includes each vessel’s
Inmarsat number, name, Lat/Long position, and distance and bearing from coordinates given.

____ 1. Determine the type of Amver SURPIC required and the coordinates:

____ A. Radius SURPIC: give center point coordinates and desired radius:

Lat/Long: ___________________N ____________________W

Radius desired: ________________________NM

____ B. Trackline SURPIC: give two sets of coordinates on a straight line and desired width
along track:

Lat/Long: ___________________N ____________________W

Lat/Long: ___________________N ____________________W

____ C. Rectangle SURPIC: give a rectangle or square area bounded by coordinates:

Lat/Long: ___________________N ____________________W

Lat/Long: ___________________N ____________________W

Lat/Long: ___________________N ____________________W

Lat/Long: ___________________N ____________________W

____ 2. Contact U.S. Coast Guard to request Amver assistance:

____ A. RCC Alameda (Alameda, California) for incidents in the Pacific maritime region.
Fax: 1 510 437 3017 or Tel: 1 510 437 3700

____ B. RCC Norfolk (Norfolk, Virginia) for incidents in the Atlantic or Caribbean maritime region:
Fax: 1 757 398 6392 or Tel: 1 757 398 6231

____ C. RCC Miami (Miami, Florida) for incidents in the Caribbean maritime region:
Fax: 1 305 415 6809 or Tel: 1 305 415 6800

____ 3. After Amver report is received, attempt contact with vessel(s) through available means (local radio
stations, local Naval and Coast Guard facilities, Inmarsat (telex or voice), etc.) The U.S. Coast Guard
(Alameda, Norfolk or Miami) can assist in contacting vessels.