The Italians have a system which for us foreigners, and probably for cruising Italians once they leave their own homeport as well, is nearly undecipherable and almost unknowable without specialized sources.
Depending on where at sea you are, your local Coast Guard jurisdiction may fall under a
- Direzione (i.e., a Department); or,
- Compartamento (i.e., a sub-Department); or,
- Circondale (i.e., a District); or
- Locale (i.e., a local area); or even a
- Delegazione (i.e., a specific point such as a harbour authority)
So, as you sail around Italy, you will hear fishermen, ferries and others call offices of various ranks, such as, for example:
- DIREZIOMARE (direzione) such and such (i.e., DIREZIOMARE Ancona)
- COMPAMARE (compartamento) (i.e., COMPAMARE La Spezia)
- CIRCOMARE (circondale) (i.e., CIRCOMARE Ischia)
- LOCAMARE (locale) (i.e., LOCAMARE Pisa)
- DELEMARE (delegazione) (i.e., DELEMARE Otranto)
In theory, you could also hear a call to the head
of all offices — "COMGENCAPOR Roma," the chief office that sits at the very top of the pyramid, but I've never heard it. The head
office probably does not deal with mere mortals and instead requires you to have the courtesy of calling some subordinate office if you are about to depart your mortal coil.
But the issue is that you never know what the particular piece of the sea you are on belongs to what hierarchical office
So if I ever had to call the Coast Guard, I would just call:
Guardia Costiera, Guardia Costiera, Guardia Costiera
. Who knows, I might even get lucky.
By the way, the emergency
phone for all things in Italian seas is
If you call from an Italian telephone, the system will connect you 24/7 to the appropriate Direzio-, Compa-, Circo-, Loca- or Dele-MARE.
I have never called from a foreign number, but perhaps someone should try and see what happens if you call + 39 1530. In theory, it should connect you to the Rome office, but who knows.
Can you call "+1 911" from a non-U.S. phone? Does the call go thru? Who picks up the phone? Funny
, if it works at all, they may answer the phone in Canada
, which has the same international prefix "+1" and which for some reason uses the same number "911".
Anyway, best of luck,