Ships Register Commercial Code Signals - Ships Nostalgia
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Ships Register Commercial Code Signals

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  #1  
Old 24th February 2016, 14:59
GeoffW GeoffW is offline
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Ships Register Commercial Code Signals

Researching my Gt Grandfathers maritime history, a Mersey flat he was a skipper on, the registration of the vessel quotes apart from ownership,size, a commercial code signal, M,Q,R,G. I assume this would relate to what products the vessel could carry. Is there a list available that breaks down these codes to the actual product names.
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  #2  
Old 24th February 2016, 19:13
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Geoff - I think that MQRG is the radio call sign of the vessel.

David
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  #3  
Old 24th February 2016, 19:30
GeoffW GeoffW is offline
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Thank you David for your reply. One thing that intrigues me is these letters are shown on a register for 1880, would I be right in assuming that these letters would have been used as semaphore communication ?
Geoff
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  #4  
Old 24th February 2016, 20:50
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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#3.
I found this in relation to Signal Flags:

"The Marryat Code was in general use among the merchant navies of the world for many years. In 1867, it was replaced by the ancestor of today's International Code of Signals, called the Commercial Code."

And:

"Incidentally, the assignment of the first letters of the four-letter designations of ships became the basis of how radio station call letters were also assigned"

The ships must have been allocated call letters (now known as a "call sign") which identified them and flown the relevant signal flags so port signal stations and others could identify them. Lloyds Signal Stations, which were built all over the place in significant places, e.g. Gibraltar, would have used them too.

John T
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  #5  
Old 24th February 2016, 20:58
GeoffW GeoffW is offline
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Hello John T,
what a brilliant answer to my query, thank you.
I did not think for one minute that a Mersey Flat, registered in Runcorn and only plied the River Mersey and the adjacent canals would be subject to maritime rules as such.
Thank you again
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  #6  
Old 24th February 2016, 22:16
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Stephen J. Card Stephen J. Card is offline  
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I know of two lots of codes.... prefix or 'G' or 'M'.... both British UK vessels

Most famous was 'MGY'..... RMS TITANIC. (1912)

I believe the 'G' signals were used later... in the 1920s. The 'M' signals were still given out in the 1960s.

Sparky can tell for sure!
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Old 25th February 2016, 06:47
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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I thought ships' call signs, as now, consisted of four letters even back in the Titanic days. In addition to "G", some British ships were still using "M" as their initial letter in the 1990s.

John T
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  #8  
Old 25th February 2016, 11:14
GeoffW GeoffW is offline
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Thank you all again for the help and very useful information you have given me.
It all helps in my research into a subject I know very little of.

GeoffW
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  #9  
Old 25th February 2016, 11:42
Somerton Somerton is offline  
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Geoff , I was in a sludge tanker for 16years until retirement in 1995 . Her call sign was GYEE . Hope this helps .

Alex C .
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Old 25th February 2016, 12:52
jimg0nxx jimg0nxx is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
I thought ships' call signs, as now, consisted of four letters even back in the Titanic days. In addition to "G", some British ships were still using "M" as their initial letter in the 1990s.

John T
John Titanic call sign was MGY (three letters).See following for simulation of her distress message.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snkwsU98QlQ

Jim
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  #11  
Old 25th February 2016, 13:17
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Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is offline
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They all had 3-letter callsigns. As the popularity of radio at sea increased and the demand rose, 4-letter callsigns became normal and was recognised internationally by the ITU, then as they ran out of letter combinations, numbers were introduced.

Nowadays there seems little need for callsigns, as IMO Numbers identify the ships and telephone numbers proliferate at sea, as ashore. The world ashore manages to operate quite happily with numbers so eventually the marine world will follow (several years behind, of course).
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  #12  
Old 25th February 2016, 13:54
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimg0nxx View Post
John Titanic call sign was MGY (three letters).See following for simulation of her distress message.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snkwsU98QlQ

Jim
Yes, thanks Jim. I already looked it up. I wonder when the four letter call signs came in.

Soon to be a thing of the past anyway, as Ron says.

John T
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