International Code of Signals (ICS)

International Code of Signals (ICS).


Letter flags with ICS meaning.

flags

 

Letter/
Phonetic
Name
Flag ICS Meaning as Single Flag Meaning when used with Numeric Complements
A
Alfa
ICS Alpha.svg “I have a diver down; keep well clear at slow speed.” Azimuth or bearing
B
Bravo
ICS Bravo.svg “I am taking in or discharging or carrying dangerous goods.” (Originally used by the Royal Navy specifically for military explosives.)
C
Charlie
ICS Charlie.svg “Affirmative.” Course in degrees magnetic
D
Delta
ICS Delta.svg “Keep clear of me; I am maneuvering with difficulty.” Date
E
Echo
ICS Echo.svg “I am altering my course to starboard.”
F
Foxtrot
ICS Foxtrot.svg “I am disabled; communicate with me.”
G
Golf
ICS Golf.svg “I require a pilot.”

By fishing vessels near fishing grounds: “I am hauling nets.”

Longitude (The first 2 or 3 digits denote degrees; the last 2 denote minutes.)
H
Hotel
ICS Hotel.svg “I have a pilot on board.”
I
India
ICS India.svg “I am altering my course to port.”
J
Juliet
ICS Juliet.svg “I am on fire and have dangerous cargo on board: keep well clear of me.”

or

“I am leaking dangerous cargo.”

K
Kilo
ICS Kilo.svg “I wish to communicate with you.” “I wish to communicate with you by…”:

1) Morse signaling by hand-flags or arms;

2) Loud hailer (megaphone);

3) Morse signaling lamp;

4) Sound signals.

L
Lima
ICS Lima.svg In harbour: “The ship is quarantined.”

At sea: “You should stop your vessel instantly.”

Latitude (The first 2 digits denote degrees; the last 2 denote minutes.)
M
Mike
ICS Mike.svg “My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water.”
N
November
ICS November.svg “Negative.”
O
Oscar
ICS Oscar.svg “Man overboard.” (often attached to the man overboard pole on boats).

With a sinister hoist, the semaphore flag.

P
Papa
ICS Papa.svg The Blue Peter.

In harbour: All persons should report on board as the vessel is about to proceed to sea.

At sea: It may be used by fishing vessels to mean: “My nets have come fast upon an obstruction.”

Q
Quebec
ICS Quebec.svg “My vessel is ‘healthy’ and I request free pratique.”
R
Romeo
ICS Romeo.svg (No ICS meaning as single flag) Distance (range) in nautical miles.
S
Sierra
ICS Sierra.svg “I am operating astern propulsion.” Speed (velocity) in knots
T
Tango
ICS Tango.svg “Keep clear of me.”

Fishing boats: “Keep clear of me; I am engaged in pair trawling.”

Local time. (The first 2 digits denote hours; the last 2 denote minutes.)
U
Uniform
ICS Uniform.svg “You are running into danger.”
V
Victor
ICS Victor.svg “I require assistance.” Speed in kilometres per hour.
W
Whiskey
ICS Whiskey.svg “I require medical assistance.”
X
Xray
ICS X-ray.svg “Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals.”
Y
Yankee
ICS Yankee.svg “I am dragging my anchor.”
Z
Zulu
ICS Zulu.svg “I require a tug.”

By fishing vessels near fishing grounds: “I am shooting nets.”

Time (UTC). (The first 2 digits denote hours; the last 2 denote minutes.)