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Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

An SOS distress signal.

An SOS is an old Earth distress signal. Morse code for SOS "···­­­ −−− ···".

It stood for Save Our Ship, and was transmitted when a seagoing vessel was in dire need of help. On Earth in the 19th century, the nearest ship was legally obligated to render assistance. (TOS novel: The Fearful Summons)

The abbreviation was a mnemonic intended to recall three quick bursts, three slower bursts, then three more quick bursts. (NF novel: Blind Man's Bluff)

The system continued to be used in some form into the 24th century.


In 2266, a continuous SOS was picked up by the USS Enterprise from Miri's homeworld. (TOS episode & Star Trek 1 novelization: Miri)

In the 2260s, a missing survey ship's continuous SOS was picked up by Nyota Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise along with its call sign. Unfortunately the vessel had crashed on Taunus and the crew died before they could be rescued. (TOS comic: "The Aging World")

In the 2260s, the Janvar Five space probe transmitted an SOS. (TOS comic: "The Mindless Ones")

Spock was surprised when the Enterprise picked up an SOS from Fomalhaut V. The planet was uninhabited according to computer records, and Morse Code was rarely used in the 2260s. Uhura adjusted the viewscreen to the source of the transmission, which showed dinosaurs rampaging through a city. (TOS novella: The Truth Machine)

In 2267, the USS Pathfinder transmitted an SOS after being ambushed by three Klingon battlecruisers near the border of the Perseus Arm. (TOS comic: "What Fools These Mortals Be..")

Also in 2267, the SS Botany Bay transmitted an SOS. When answered, the onboard computer switched to signaling the vessel's name. (TOS - Star Trek 2 novelization: Space Seed)

In 2370, Captain Dawson of the USS Puyallup instructed his crew to send an SOS to Deep Space 9 when his ship came under attack. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky)

It is quite possible SOS was being used as a generic term for a more contemporary distress call system used in the 24th century.

In 2371, the USS Voyager picked up an SOS call from Amelia Earhart's plane in the Delta Quadrant. (VOY episode: "The 37's")



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