47 CFR 80.1109 - Distress, urgency, and safety communications.
(a) Distress traffic consists of all messages relating to the immediate assistance required by the ship in distress, including search and rescue communications and on-scene communications. Distress traffic must as far as possible be on the frequencies contained in § 80.1077.
(b) Urgency and safety communications include: navigational and meteorological warnings and urgent information; ship-to-ship safety navigation communications; ship reporting communications; support communications for search and rescue operations; other urgency and safety messages and communications relating to the navigation, movements and needs of ships and weather observation messages destined for an official meteorological service.
(c) Intership navigation safety communications are those VHF radiotelephone communications conducted between ships for the purpose of contributing to the safe movement of ships. The frequency 156.650 MHz is used for intership navigation safety communications (see § 80.1077).