GEN 3.6.1 Responsible service(s)

The Icelandic Coast Guard is responsible for and supervises search and rescue of aircraft that are considered to be in danger, have crashed or are missing. The Coast Guard is responsible for on scene coordination for accidents at sea, but Icelandic Chief of Police on land. The designated COSPAS-SARSAT (SPOC) for Iceland is the JRCC (Joint Rescue Coordination Centre).

GEN Address

The address for communication with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC):
  Joint Rescue Coordination
Centre (JRCC)
  Icelandic Coast Guard
Skogarhlid 14
IS - 105 Reykjavik, Iceland
Telegraphic address: (AFTN) BIRK ICGT
Telephone: +354 545 2100
+354 511 3333
Responsible authority: ICELANDIC COAST GUARD

GEN Adjacent RCC'S

Adjacent RCC'S and method of communication with them:

Bodo (ENBOYCYX) - AFTN teletype
Telex 64293 rccn n
Telephone: +47 755 59 000

Stavanger (ENZVYCYV) - AFTN teletype
Telex 33163 rccs n
Telephone: +47 515 17 000

Telephone: +44 344 382 0807

Telephone: +44 0344 382 0025

Telephone: +1 902 427 8200

Nuuk (BGGHYCYC) - AFTN teletype
Telex 90828
Telephone: +299 363 304

GEN Applicable Documents

The service is provided in accordance with provisions contained in the following applicable Documents:
  ICAO Annex 12 - Search and Rescue
  Annex 13 - Aircraft Accident and Incident investigation
  Doc 7030 - Regional Supplementary
Procedures for Alerting and Search and Rescue Services applicable in the NAT Region. (ENR 1.8).

GEN 3.6.2 Area of responsibility

The Icelandic SAR is responsible for SAR operations within the area defined below:
SAR Area:
730000N 0200000W, 730000N 0000000W,
610000N 0000000W, 610000N 0300000W,
583000N 0300000W, 583000N 0430000W,
633000N 0390000W, 700000N 0200000W,
730000N 0200000W.

GEN 3.6.3 Types of service

Search and rescue operations within land areas of Iceland are carried out in cooperation with various well organized and trained land rescue teams and the local magistrates or sheriffs.

GEN Search and Rescue Units

Nafn / Name Staður / Location Tæki / Facilities Athugasemdir / Remarks
a b c d
Landhelgisgæsla Íslands
Iceland Coast Guard
Reykjavík Airport

640748N 0215626W
Icelandic Coast Guard Dash DHC8 Q314
2 X Super Puma H225 (HEL-H) AWSAR
1 X Super Puma AS332L1 (HEL-H) AWSAR
Coast Guard vessels (4)
Ýmis björgunar- og viðlagatæki fyrir sjó- og landsvæði.
Tiltæk eru ýmis varðskip og björgunarbátar.

Various rescue and survival equipment for sea and land areas.
Several rescue boats available. (14)

GEN 3.6.4 SAR agreements

Requests for entry of aircraft, equipment and personnel from other States, wishing to engage in search for aircraft in distress or to rescue survivors of aircraft accidents, should be transmitted to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC).

GEN 3.6.5 Conditions of Availability

Search and Rescue operations over ocean areas are carried out by Icelandic state owned aircraft and Coast Guard vessels when required. The aeronautical, maritime and public telecommunication services are available to the search and rescue organization.

GEN 3.6.6 Procedures and Signals Used

GEN Procedures

GEN Procedures for pilots-in-command at the scene of an accident

When a pilot-in-command observers that either another aircraft or a surface craft is in distress, he shall, unless he is unable, or in circumstances of the case considers it unreasonable or unnecessary:
  1. keep in sight of the craft in distress until such time as his presence is no longer necessary;
  1. if his position is not known with certainty, take such action as will facilitate the determination of it;
  1. report to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) and Area Control Centre as much of the following information as possible:
    • type of craft in distress, its identification and condition
    • its position, expressed in geographical coordinates or in distance and true bearing from a distinctive landmark or from a radio navigation aid;
    • time of observation expressed in hours and minutes UTC;
    • number of persons observed;
    • whether persons have been seen to abandon the craft in distress;
    • number of persons observed to be afloat;
    • Apparent physical condition of survivors;
  1. act as instructed by the JRCC or the air traffic services unit.

GEN On scene coordination by a non search and rescue aircraft

If the first aircraft to reach the scene of an accident is not a search and rescue aircraft it shall take charge of on scene activities of all other aircraft subsequently arriving until the first search and rescue aircraft reaches the scene of the accident. If in the meantime, such aircraft is unable to establish communication with JRCC or air traffic services unit, it shall by mutual agreement, hand over to an aircraft capable of establishing and maintaining such communications until the arrival of the first search and rescue aircraft.

GEN Directions from an aircraft to a surface craft

When it is necessary for an aircraft to direct a surface craft to the place where an aircraft or surface craft is in distress, the aircraft shall do so by transmitting precise instructions by any means at its disposal. If no radio communications can be established the aircraft shall perform the following maneuvers in sequence:
  1. circling the surface craft at least once;
  1. crossing the projected course of the surface craft close ahead at low altitude and:
    1. rocking the wings; or
    2. opening and closing the throttle; or
    3. changing the propeller pitch.
      Note.- Due to high noise level on board surface craft, the sound signals in 2. and 3. may be less effective than the visual signal in 1. and are regarded as alternative means of attracting attention.
  1. heading in the direction on which the surface craft is to be directed.
Repetition of such manoeuvres has the same meaning.

GEN Cancelling of assistance, signalling

The following manoeuvre by an aircraft means that the assistance of the surface craft to which the signal is directed is no longer required:
  1. crossing the wake of the surface craft close astern at low altitude and:
    1. rocking the wings; or
    2. opening and closing the throttle; or
    3. changing the propeller pitch.

Note.- See Note Following b. 3. in

GEN Delivering of messages

When it is necessary for an aircraft to convey information to survivors or surface rescue units, and two-way communication is not available, it shall, if practicable, drop communication equipment that would enable direct contact to be established, or convey the information by dropping the message.

GEN Confirming reception of ground signals

When a ground signal has been displayed, the aircraft shall indicate whether the signal has been understood or not by the means described in the paragraph above or, if this is not practicable, by use of the following procedure:
  1. The following signals by aircraft mean that the ground signals have been understood:
    1. during the hours of daylight::
      by rocking the aircraft's wings;
    2. during the hours of darkness:
      flashing on and off twice the aircraft's landing lights or, if not so equipped, by switching on and off twice its navigation lights.
  1. Lack of the above signals indicates that the ground signal is not understood.

GEN Procedures for pilots-in-command intercepting a distress transmission

  1. Whenever a distress signal and/or message or equivalent transmission is intercepted on radiotelegraphy or radiotelephony by a pilot-in- command of an aircraft, he shall:
    1. record the position of the craft in distress if given;
    2. if possible take a bearing of the transmission;
    3. inform the appropriate Rescue Coordination Centre or air traffic services unit of the distress transmission, giving all available information;
    4. at his discretion, while awaiting instructions, proceed to the position given in the transmission.

GEN Communication

Transmission and reception of distress messages within the Iceland search and rescue area are handled in accordance with para 5.3, Chapter 5, Volume II of ICAO Annex 10.
For communications during search and rescue operations, the codes and abbreviations published in ICAO Codes and Abbreviations (Doc 8400) are used.
Information concerning position, call signs, frequencies, and hours of operation of Icelandic aeronautical stations is published in AIP Iceland chapter ENR 4.
Aeronautical stations will, on request, guard the international emergency frequency 121.5 MHz. Numerous coastal radio stations and RCC´s guard the International distress frequency 2182 KHz.
If it is necessary for an aircraft to contact a surface rescue team use 123.1 MHz.

GEN Ground - Air Signal Code for use by Survivors


Kóði  / Merki

Code / Symbol

1. Þarfnast aðstoðar
1. Require assistance
2. Þarfnast læknishjálpar
2. Require medical assistance
3. Nei
3. No or Negative
4. Já
4. Yes or Affirmative
5. Held í þessa átt
5. Proceeding in this direction

GEN Ground - Air Signal Code - Paulin Symbols


Kóði  / Merki

Code / Symbo

1. Þarfnast læknisaðstoðar (flugleiðis)
1. Need medical attention flyable
2. Þarfnast sjúkrabúnaðar
2. Need first aid supplies
3. Þörf á hlýjum fatnaði
3. Need warm clothing
4. Þörf vista og vatns
4. Need food and water
5. Þarf áhöld eins og gefið er til kynna
5. Need equipment as indicated
6. Þörf eldsneytis og olíu
6. Need gas and oil - A/C
7. Þörf verkfæra - loftfarið flughæft
7. Need tools - A/C flyable
8. Eigum við að bíða björgunar?
8. Should we wait for rescue?
9. Sýnið átt til byggða
9. Indicate direction of civilisation
10. Yfirgef loftfarið, fer þessa leið
10. Abandoning A/C walking in this direction
11. Í lagi að lenda - örin sýnir stefnu
11. OK to land - Arrow shows direction
12. Lendið ekki
12. Do not land

GEN Ground - Air Signal Code for use by Rescue Teams


Kóði  / Merki

Code  / Symbol

1. Skiptumst í tvo hópa, höldum í þessar áttir
1. Have divided into two groups.
Each proceeding in the directions indicated
2. Samkvæmt upplýsingum er flugfarið í þessari átt
2. Information received that the aircraft is in this direction
3. Höfum fundið alla
3. We have found all personnel
4. Höfum fundið suma
4. We have found only some personnel
5. Ekkert fundið, höldum áfram leit
5. Nothing found, will continue search
6. Getum ekki haldið áfram, snúum til heimastöðva
6. We are not able to continue, returning to base
7. Leit lokið, farið til heimastöðva
7. Operation is ended, return to your bases
Instructions for Use:
  1. Make signals not less than 8 ft (2.5 m).
  2. Take care to lay signals out exactly as shown.
  3. Provide as much colour contrast as possible between signals and background.
  4. Make every effort to attract attention by other means such as radio, flares, smoke or reflected light.
Note.: It is preferable to use the International Ground Air Emergency Code. The symbols can be made larger and hence more recognizable from the air.
Paulins should be folded to form the signals shown. A paulin is also an extremely valuable survival shelter, poncho, ground shed, sleeping bag cover, sunshade, or rain collector.