An Introduction to Standard Maritime Communication Phrases

English is the working language of the seas and effective communication is vital in ensuring safe and successful operations at sea.

Poor communication is the root cause of accidents within the shipping industry. English may not be spoken fluently between all members of a mixed nationality crew or between ship and shore: Standard Marine Communication Phrases (SMCP) is a set of key phrases developed by the IMO to support non-native speakers of English. SCMP aims to improve:

  • External communication phrases used in ship to ship and ship to shore communications.
  • Internal communication phrases used on board the ship.

SMCP is a mandatory part of the STCW Convention. Seafarers of all nationalities must know what these phrases mean, when they should be used and how they are to be pronounced. You are required to know these phrases instinctively and immediately when needed.

Marlins’ SMCP elearning course has been developed to bridge the language gap and make sure you are able to communicate accurately and fluently  with  your colleagues on board your ship, with other seafarers and with shore personnel.

The course will:

  • give seafarers a better understanding of the language rules and conventions used in SMCP
  • immerse learners in a number of realistic emergency situations where they have to respond correctly
  • allow learners to record and re-record their responses so individuals can work on pronunciation of difficult words and phrases.