In 2013, RIKS (State Infocommunication Foundation) created a new service in co-operation with Keskkonnaagentuur (Estonian Environment Agency). According to the latter, in a shifting weather condition the operator of RIKS has the right to connect a troubled ship directly to the free phone of a guarding forecaster in order to receive consultation on the weather and its changes in the area of the troubled ship.
Due to the rapid shifting of the weather, it might occur on the sea that the regularly given forecasts do not describe the worsening weather with sufficient accuracy in a given place at a given time. Often, skippers of small craft will need additional short-term weather forecasts, because they depend more on the weather than big ships.
In order to increase maritime safety, RIKS offers an opportunity to receive weather forecasts directly from Keskkonnaagentuur forecaster through a maritime communication network. A ship can call the operator of the marine communication network by using the call sign “Tallinn Radio” on radio channel 16 or by sending DSC callout to MMSI number 002761000. The operator will switch the ship to a working channel and the ship will present its request. The operator will connect the ship to a forecaster and the following conversation will be held directly between the ship and the forecaster. This service is free.
The service is meant to be used in difficult situations where weather conditions threaten the safety of people on board. In a normal situation (with no threat), the operator will provide a marine weather forecast which is updated by forecasters and sent to RIKS three times per day.