Official Status of South African Notices to Mariners

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and other regulatory authorities accept that South African Notices to Mariners meet the carriage requirements for such Notices, contained within Regulation 9 & 27, of Chapter V of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and the Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Nautical Publications) Regulations.

South African navigational charts and publications can be maintained up to date for safety critical and important navigational information through the South African Notices to Mariners (NMs) service.

The Notices to Mariners publication is a complete compilation of all South African chart and publication updates issued in any one month. It is divided into six sections:

It is available gratis (free) from South African Agents and via this website.

Notices to Mariners Archives

PDF versions of back issues of Notices to Mariners to January 2000 may be viewed in Acrobat Reader or downloaded gratis from this website. Note that certain run-on graphics may not appear in the monthly pdf file for the 2000 and 2001 Series as these were originally created in separate pdf files. Should they be required, they can be requested by sending an email request to

Notices to Mariners Block Corrections

Block Corrections are small chartlets containing detailed or complex chart correction information, which can not be easily described textually. The images are designed to be cut out and pasted onto the chart. It is recommended that any blocks printed out using a colour inkjet printer be laquer sprayed to prevent accidental erasure of the image by the use of an eraser.

Additional NMs Services

In addition to the Notices to Mariners the SANHO also produces the following supplementary NM publications: · Annual Summary of Notices to Mariners · Notices to Mariners Block Corrections

Spheroid / GPS Positions

All positions quoted in the Notices are referred to Clarke 1880 (Mod) Spheroid unless otherwise stated. On chart scales of 1: 100 000 and smaller, positions from GPS receivers set to WGS84 may be plotted directly on the charts.

Mariners are warned that insertion of Clarke 1880 (or other) positions on Automatic Plotters which are set to WGS 84 Spheroid can result in inaccurate navigation practices.

Temporary and Preliminary Notices

These are indicated by (T) or (P) after the notice number. These notices are printed on one side of the paper in order that they may be cut and filed and are placed at the end of Section II. To assist in filing, the year is indicated after the notice number.

Information from these notices is not included on charts before issue from the SANHO Chart Depot, therefore the chart(s) should be updated in pencil on receipt.

Permanent Notices

Permanent corrections in Section II are marked by a star adjacent to the notice number to indicate that the notice is based on original information. Periodic lists of permanent corrections pertaining to affected navigational charts and publications are published annually and copies may be obtained from the Hydrographic Office or through a Chart Agent.

Provision of Notices to Mariners Notices are gratis and may be obtained on request from the Hydrographic Office or through the approved Chart Agents or downloaded from this website.



Long-range warnings are broad cast in the NAVAREA VII service. Broadcast Warnings are available at Port Offices and remain valid until cancelled or until superseded by other broadcast bulletins. They can also be downloaded gratis from this website.


For waters out to about 150 miles around the Republic of South Africa and Namibia, Coastal Navigational Warnings of an urgent and temporary nature are broadcast simultaneously on all frequencies from Coast Radio Stations and via Navtex. They can also be downloaded gratis from this website.

See Annual Notice to Mariners No. 3 for more detailed information concerning the World Wide Navigational Warning Service (WWNWS) - Navarea VII - Promulgation of Immediate Navigational Warnings. See SANHO-1 List of Lights and Radio Services for services, broadcast details, times and frequencies.


To assist users in identifying outstanding Notices to Mariners and audit trails for a particular chart or charts, the SANHO produces a publication entitled the Cumulative List of South African Notices to Mariners. This publication lists all charts currently available together with a complete cumulative list of all NM numbers affecting each chart. A pdf version is maintained up to date on a monthly basis and can be downloaded gratis through the Notices to Mariners section of this website.


To supplement Monthly NMs, the SANHO produces an Annual Summary of Notices to Mariners containing the Annual Statutory Notices to Mariners. This publication is published annually in January each year. A pdf version can be downloaded gratis through the Notices to Mariners section of this website.

Further References

Further details are contained in NP100 The Mariner's Handbook which should be consulted for the correct procedures of filing, inserting and noting all types of corrections on nautical charts and other hydrographic publications. The Handbook may be obtained from Admiralty Chart Agents.

Consult SAN HO-6 for Symbols and Abbreviations and NP735 for an illustrated explanation of the IALA Maritime Buoyage System.


For optimum results when viewing and printing material from the PDF digital files please note the following:

The minimum specification is a 486 PC with Windows 3.1 and 4MB of RAM. When printing data from the files, ensure the Fit to Page icon in the Adobe Acrobat print menu is switched off before printing, otherwise large text pages will be compressed, or large size Blocks may not fit the chart. If printing text or monochrome NM Blocks, the minimum specification is an Inkjet or good quality Laser Postscript printer with at least 6 MB of memory. (NB. If using a Postscript printer, ensure the Postscript printer driver is installed). For printing Colour NMBlocks the minimum specification of printer is a good quality Ink Jet/Laser printer with 300 dpi resolution or greater. If using certain types of Ink Jet printer ensure the setting is set to Dithered screening not Pattern screening. Printed colour copies should be compared with the colour image on screen to ensure that all the colours have reproduced correctly. Printer property resolution and ink density may need to be increased or adjusted to obtain the best results. Ensure the Colour Ink Cartridge is in accordance with the printer manufacturers specifications.

Minimum paper specification for printing Colour NM Blocks is International paper size A4, thickness/weight 80 gsm paper. (The same paper as used for NM Blocks in the printed Monthly NM booklet). NB. (Ensure the paper quality is in accordance with the Printer manufacturers specifications).

The Hydrographer does not accept any liability for the display and printing of these digital Notices to Mariners on the users equipment.