A situation wherein there is reasonable certainty that a vessel or other craft, including an aircraft or a person, is threatened by grave and imminent danger and require immediate assistance.

The following elements allow the definition of a distress situation: (i) the existence of a request for assistance, although such a request shall not be the sole factor for determining the existence of a distress situation; (ii) the seaworthiness of the vessel and the likelihood that the vessel will not reach its final destination; (iii) the number of persons on board in relation to the type and condition of the vessel; (iv) the availability of necessary supplies such as fuel, water and food to reach a shore: (v) the presence of qualified crew and command of the vessel; (vi) the availability and capability of safety, navigation and communication equipment; (vii) the presence of persons on board in urgent need of medical assistance; (viii) the presence of deceased persons on board; (ix) the presence of pregnant women or of children on board; (x) the weather and sea conditions, including weather and marine forecasts.