The forecasts prepared by France for the SafetyNet broadcast by Greece are transmitted to HNMS by 3 different ways : GTS, Télex and E-Mail. That reduces the risk for Greece not to receive this information in due time from France.
Implementation of an automatic function that delays the transmission of scheduled NAVTEX bulletins from France (if needed), to avoid broadcasting them in the previous slot (4 hours before the right slot).
We can note also that Italy has implemented an operational broadcast of meteorological information since 2nd April 2002, using 4 transmitters (Cagliari, Roma and Augusta provide forecast for areas western part of Mediterranean Sea). Unfortunatly, Italy does not use the common forecast sub-areas defined for western part of Mediterranean Sea.
2.2. SafetyNet system
All forecasts (scheduled bulletins and warnings) are issued by the Marine & Oceanography Division of National Forecast Centre of Météo-France in Toulouse. Messages are transmitted immediately on issue (before 0900 and 2100 UTC for scheduled bulletins) to Greece (Issuing Service) via GTS (Roma), and Telex.
For description of sub-areas of METAREA III (western part), see annex 5.
For example of scheduled bulletin and warning, see annexes 6 and 7.
2.4. International NAVTEX system
One French NAVTEX on METAREA III, CROSS La Garde (W - 43°06N, 5°59E). Warnings and scheduled bulletins are issued by the Marine & Oceanography Division of the National Forecast Centre in Toulouse, in coherence with messages prepared for SafetyNet broadcast. Messages are transmitted to the station by Télex, immediately for warnings and from fixed times for regular bulletins (to avoid broadcasting them in an inappropriate slot). Warnings are broadcast as soon as the frequency is free and repeated at next vacation, scheduled bulletins are broadcast once at next vacation (2340 and 1140 UTC).
For example of scheduled bulletin, see annex 8.
2.5. Chronology since the beginning of implementation
bulletins and warnings for western Mediterranean sea are transmitted to Greece via GTS and Telex and E-Mail
27th May 2002
Implementation of an automatic function that delays the transmission of scheduled NAVTEX bulletins (if needed), to avoid broadcasting them in the previous slot.
2.6. Feedback from users
Items detailed in § 1.5. are also available here. Additional points are listed below :
Forecasts for western Mediterranean sea are transmitted to Greece via GTS, Telex and E-Mail, allowing Greece to get the messages prepared by France as soon as possible. However, complaints about missing forecasts for western Mediterranean sea still remain.
Even if the system had been improved a lot, some (non SOLAS) vessels sometimes complain about the non-availability of meteorological messages onboard. Those reception problems may be caused by various factors like mask effects, bad conditions for propagation or bad installation onboard. But they may partly be due also to the length of some bulletins. The format for Navtex messages had been reduced but further improvements are to be studied.
Sometimes, NAVTEX transmitters from northern Europe (Niton or Valentia for example) are received in the Mediterranean sea, especially during the night (abnormal propagation for ground wave or sky wave). In particular, the Irish station Valentia (Metarea I) has the same letter code than the French station of La Garde (Metarea III), W, and then the same time slots, according to international regulations: if the signal from Valencia is stronger in a part of the Mediterranean sea, MSI broadcasted by La Garde are not received by ships in this area. So, scheduled Met bulletins, broadcasted only once, may not be available. This problem shall be considered by the IMO NAVTEX Co-ordinating Panel to propose any change for removing, or at least minimizing, this risk.