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Old 08 December 2011, 12:58   #31
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Over the years I've been bent more times than I can remember, strangely it's the shallow air dives that get me, never the deep Trimix stuff. I've learned to self diagnose & medicate as many "adventurous" divers do I certainly wouldn't bother calling a skin bend in or even a joint niggle. It's bad when you go blind, throw up & fall over (unless it's a weekend evening), that's the time to send for the cavalry. The rest of the time, aspirin, fluids & an hour on the O2 usually does the trick.
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Old 08 December 2011, 13:04   #32
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Indeed hence my diagnosis comment..
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Old 08 December 2011, 14:17   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captnjack View Post
You are getting this backwards. The most important element to summon help by any means possible as the ship is on fire or sinking. (Otherwise it should have been a Pan-pan)

The MMSI is gravy. Nice to add if you can in ideal circumstances but in many cases not likely to add much to the efforts to find and extract you and your passengers. The MMSI is a string of numbers which could with iffy communications be misunderstood as position information. When in doubt Lat/long takes precedence over MMSI.

In this country our own Coast Guard only got universal digital capacity in the past couple years. In many countries it doesn't yet exist on the ground. So emphasizing the MMSI is misplaced IMHO. I would also add that most recreational vessels in this country don't even have call signs either. The requirement to get one for domestic voyages was relaxed many years ago.
Ok, let's start with where I agree with you. The most important thing is to summon help by any means possible. I'm pretty well with you on that one

Now, where do I have some issues:

1/ Pan Pan unless on fire or sinking. If you have a serious illness or injury, for example - make that a Mayday too, please. If it's me that's seriously ill or hurt, I DEFINITELY want it to be a Mayday!

2/ MMSI is nice to add. Yes, fair point - but you need to consider the people taking your call too. If you've sent a DSC alert (ie you've pressed the red button), what will appear on screen is your MMSI. If you then use your callsign or your boat name to identify yourself and don't include your MMSI, you open the possibility of confusion, Making it clear that there is one distress call and not two increases your chances of success. If your country hasn't caught up with digital technology yet, fair enough. Where it is used, it's best to use it properly

3/MMSI could be confused with Lat and Long. I'd argue that is unlikely - but my stronger argument would be not to use Lat and Long anyway. Position as bearing and distance from something you can see is usually a better option. As you say though, position is more important than MMSI, no question about that

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Old 08 December 2011, 14:27   #34
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I always teach , i would better giving my position - a absolute relative position - as Seaskills says bearing and distance of known point.

this is again if somebody is nearby they are more than likely know where they are , rather than gps position. and easier to say!

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Old 08 December 2011, 14:53   #35
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As are most of the books on the subject .

Its a good idea to have laminated copies of the following calls
Mayday
Pan Pan
Mayday Relay
Safety
In your Navbag or to hand so that , if a worse case scenario occurs then you or your crew can make the appropriate call.
Something we and I am sure other schools do.
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Tim, if there is no longer somebody on board able to make a competent distress/urgency message to the CG (i,e, skipper has fallen off, been taken ill, or is occupied with some emergency on the vessel) then is is not always going to be a Mayday call? I wonder if by having multiple cards you are adding an extra element of confusion to the poor inexperienced person who has just been left in "charge" of the call.

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3/MMSI could be confused with Lat and Long. I'd argue that is unlikely - but my stronger argument would be not to use Lat and Long anyway.
Ian I don't think it is just unlikely I think it is essentially impossible for a "broken" MMSI to be mistaken for a "broken" Lat/Long and incorrectly reassembled to a a lat long. Even if you happened to be in the very rare circumstance where the relevant figures could be constructed into a sensible location, without adding "degrees/decimal" and "north/west" to the digits in a lat long its going to be very difficult to know which bits you did hear. Moreover is the whole point of a standardised message format not to help with understanding partial messages? ie. the MMSI should be coming before the location. When people choose to rewrite the "standards" for their own purposes that is when confusion will come,

Quote:
Position as bearing and distance from something you can see is usually a better option. As you say though, position is more important than MMSI, no question about that
I think that will depend on circumstances though. e.g. if I am 1.5 miles SW of Tarbet that gives a whole range of possibilities (and there are several other place names like that which are not unique). Likewise there are places I would call one thing which have a different name on OS maps and charts, or where as a visitor I might pronounce it differently from the locals. Add to that the possibility that if its me that is ill/overboard etc then my crew's description of location may not be as good as you would like. With most boats now having a GPS on boards - clearly reading the digits from the display seems more robust to me. Although if I am in on a RIB which doesn't have automatic distress position plotting and hear a mayday from another vessel I would much rather have a description, but again that will only be useful if their "landmark" is intelligible and meaningful to me.
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Old 08 December 2011, 15:02   #36
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Ian I don't think it is just unlikely I think it is essentially impossible for a "broken" MMSI to be mistaken for a "broken" Lat/Long and incorrectly reassembled to a a lat long.
Yeah, I know. I was just being polite
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Old 08 December 2011, 15:26   #37
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Yeah, I know. I was just being polite
Oh! I thought that meant putting *'s in when you reply B*******T !
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Old 08 December 2011, 15:26   #38
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Polwart a safety brief will cover this I hope .
You can buy these cards from most chandleries.
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Old 08 December 2011, 17:38   #39
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Polwart a safety brief will cover this I hope .
My safety brief is simple. If I'm "not here" then mayday procedure as per the printed instructions. What circumstances does your safety brief suggest that the skipper is no longer in charge of the vessel, and it is not a mayday. (if there are other experienced people on board then they will be able to make the decision but also don't really need a "card").
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Old 08 December 2011, 17:41   #40
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+ 1 for Polwarts Brief!
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