What is Notice to Mariners? Types? Contents?

Introduction to Notice to Mariners

Image Courtesy- UKHO Website

Notices to Mariners or NTMs inform mariners of important matters affecting navigational safety including the new hydrographic information such as, changes in depths, obstructions to avoid, dangerous areas to transit, aids to navigation, and other important data. Notices to Mariners are used to amend a vessel’s nautical charts and publications portfolio to ensure a vessel is sailing with the most accurate and reliable navigation data.

Notices to Mariners are the means of official communication of safety information to mariners. They are available on the internet in digital format. Paper formats have been discontinued from October 2019.

Why mariners need Notices to Mariners (NTMs)?

SOLAS Chp V, Reg 27- – Nautical Charts and Nautical Publications says,
“Nautical charts and nautical publications, such as sailing directions, lists of lights, notices to mariners, tide tables, and all other nautical publications necessary for the intended voyage shall be adequate and up to date.”

  • All charts and publications onboard must be kept up-to-date with the latest information available.
  • Ships must not enter any waters for which the latest editions of charts and publications are not available or, if available onboard, not corrected up-to-date.
  • Corrections to charts and publications are given in Notices to Mariners.
  • The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) publishes the Notices to Mariners.
  • The National Hydrographic Office (NHO) of India issues Indian Notices to Mariners (INM) for Indian Charts and Indian publications.

Important Note: Admiralty charts and publications must be corrected ONLY by Admiralty Notices to Mariners (ANM). Charts and publications of local government agencies must be corrected ONLY by NM issued by them.

Here we will concentrate only on Admiralty Notices to Mariners, since the Admiralty charts and publications cover the entire navigable world, whereas local hydrographic offices cover only areas within their region. Admiralty Notice to Mariners used to be available from accredited chart agents the world over, in paper form, as priced publications, which has been discontinued from October 2019. Now the Notices to Mariners are available in digital form, free of cost, online through the internet.

Also Read, Nautical Publications Required For Passage Planning Along With Their Contents

Types of Notice to Mariners

There are total three type of NTMs, depending on the intervals at which they are published

Weekly Notice to Mariners (WNTMs)

  • Published on weekly basis.
  • Contains the list all the charts, SDs, ALRS and ALLs affected in that week.
  • Their corrections
  • Tracings

Contents of WNTMs

  • Explanatory Notes. Publications List
  • ADMIRALTY Notices to Mariners. Updates to Standard Nautical Charts
  • Reprints of NAVAREA I Navigational Warnings
  • Updates to ADMIRALTY Sailing Directions
  • Updates to ADMIRALTY List of Lights and Fog Signals
  • Updates to ADMIRALTY List of Radio Signals
  • Updates to Miscellaneous ADMIRALTY Nautical Publications
  • Updates to ADMIRALTY Digital Services

The Weekly Notices to Mariners (NM) updates for paper Charts and Publications can be accessed via admiralty.co.uk/msi or the searchable NM Website www.ukho.gov.uk/nmwebsearch. The latest
digital NM Weekly update is available 10 days prior to the paper publication date; there are no
subscription fees for access to the UKHO Notice to Mariners Website.

Cumulative List of Admiralty Notice to Mariners (CNTMs) (NP 234 A and B)

Image Courtesy- UKHO Website
  • The CNTMs contain the date of issue of the current edition of each navigational chart and of subsequent relevant Notices to Mariners issued since the last published cumulative list of admiralty notices to mariners i.e ( issued date is clearly mentioned on the first page.)
  • CNTMs are published in two parts. NP- 234 A and NP 234 B.
  • NP 234- A (Download) contains the list of the Notices to Mariners (NTMs) quoted for each chart are those which have been issued over the past 2 years. Published every year in January.
  • NP 234- B (Download) contains the list of the Notices to Mariners (NTMs) quoted for each chart are those which have been issued over the past 2.5 years. Published every year in June.

Annual Summary of Notices to Mariners (ANTMs) (NP247- 1 and 2)

  • As name suggest, ANTMs are published annually.
  • The current edition of Annual Notices to Mariners, superseding and cancelling the previous one.
  • ANTMs are divided into two parts:
    • NP247 (1)
    • NP247 (2)

Contents of NP 247 (1)

  • Section 1: Annual Notices to Mariners (1- 26)
  • Section 2: Temporary and Preliminary Notices (T/P Notices)

Contents of NP 247 (2)

  • Part 1- Current Editions of Admiralty Sailing Directions
  • Part 2- Sailing Directions Updates in Force
  • Part 3- Current Editions of Admiralty Miscellaneous Nautical Publications
  • Part 4- Miscellaneous Nautical Publications Updates in Force

Also watch, An overview of Notices to Mariners and how to use them