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Old 26 September 2006, 15:26   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalker
Ben, you'd need to be sure that your arranged call would not coincide with a reception shadow area. It might be a bit tricky if you've not got prior experience of the area you're boating in. And you wouldn't want the Coasties to think you'd sunk because you were unable to call in.
I agree, hence my dismay at the VHF instructor dissing making Radio checks in these remote areas. Anybody know if the coasties have got any info on which areas are dodgy for transmissions?

Additionally would it be better to have a taller aerial and transmit on full power for these remote areas?
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Old 27 September 2006, 11:12   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benc
I agree, hence my dismay at the VHF instructor dissing making Radio checks in these remote areas. Anybody know if the coasties have got any info on which areas are dodgy for transmissions?

Additionally would it be better to have a taller aerial and transmit on full power for these remote areas?
If you feel the need to check your VHF and there isn't a marina about, or another boat you can arrange a call with, then the CG is the only option. At Oban MRSC we were generally sympathetic to these calls, because we knew there was little option. Not sure how Clyde react these days - I avoid talking to them as much as possible. What no ops room likes (even Oban when it existed) is someone regularly calling to make sure they can still be heard.

The MRCC's will have maps with areas of poor comms marked out. Whether they will make those public I don't know - bit of an admission of failure on their part perhaps. However, Clyde have this on their website

'quote' - 'The northern part of the district is the more rural with the main islands and several very large Inland Sea lochs. These lochs bring their own special Search and Rescue problems, such as very poor communications as they are surrounded by very high mountains '

Might be worth asking them if anyone's really keen. Ops room 01475 729988 or 729014. Don't tell em I told you. :-) Seriously, I'm sure they'll be glad to help.

I made a map of the poor areas once as part of a training excercise. If I can find it - don't hold your breath - I'll try and post it, though it may get me locked up in theTower (Official secrets act, etc.) :-)

A taller aerial is always better (for radio efficiency). If you're calling the CG always use full power around here, especially from a RIB (low aerial).

Cheers Tony
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Old 27 September 2006, 12:21   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
Very useful information. I carry a liferaft, DSC VHF, a handhed VHF, flares (and a mobile for what its worth). Is there anything else I should have if I cruise in these areas or are they out of bounds solo. I would also be interested to know the poor coverage areas as I cruise these waters 4-5 times a year.
Thanks Paul,

Perhaps a PLB in case you go overboard and can't back on?? Fire extinguisher? Tool kit? Fuel filter? Spark plugs? Emergency food and water? Someone else mentioned a sea anchor - good idea. A real one's a good idea too. :-) I guess you've got all those things anyway. The area's not out of bounds solo by any means and if you're well equipped (as you are), take heed of the weather and likely sea conditions (in fact, use seamanship and common sense) no one will begrudge helping if you have a problem, or say you shouldn't have been there. Sometimes s**t happens at sea however careful you are.

One safety item not mentioned so far here is the shore contact. Leave a copy of your cruise itinerary with them, the local CG phone no. and an estimated time of return. Get them to contact the CG if you haven't returned or contacted them within a certain number of hours of that ETR. If you file TR's (traffic reports) with the CG each day - or as often as you can if comms are difficult, then they will have your last known position on file. They will NOT start a search if you fail to tell them you arrived at your destination.

Use the CG Voluntary safety identification scheme (CG66) to file your boat description with the CG MRCC in your cruising area. You can do it online and send a picture.

Incidentally, if any vessel is reported overdue, the logs are first checked for any traffic from them. The CG66 info is displayed. The vessel is called. If no reply an all stations broadcast is put out with description, asking for information. If no luck, marinas and anchorages in the area are checked by CG team members. If no joy, then more serious search activities may commence. All this may happen concurrently or consecutively. Among other things, the type of vessel overdue and the prevailing weather and sea conditions will play a large part in the decision making.

Probably telling many people how to suck eggs. If so, apologies.

Cheers Tony
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Old 28 September 2006, 07:32   #24
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Thanks again, I am registered with the CG66 scheme but unfortunately I am unable to submit a photo as my digital camera will not give a low enough resolution image. I think it need to be less than 100 kb. Any suggestions?
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Old 28 September 2006, 10:41   #25
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Resize a the file after its been taken

http://rib.net/forum/showpost.php?p=95730&postcount=2
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Old 28 September 2006, 14:21   #26
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Agree with much of the advice...cruising in amenable company, back-up emergency gear, letting peeps know where you are & where you're heading...and yes there can be occasions in remote areas when you wish you'd access to a sat 'phone...

Most of the pleas we have heard to not disturb the CG for radio checks have involved the humongously busy Solent area. But then there's a commonsense aspect...no-one minds someone calling for help in case of emergency.

(But as to the hapless boater who was paddling his motorboat 10 yards from Stokes Bay Beach on a warm summer's evening this year and asked us to 'mayday' because his engine had broken down, a bit of time spent with an instructor wouldn't go amiss!!!! When we asked him why he didn't just go ashore by the lifeboat station at Stokes' he said he would prefer to be towed back home as he didn't have his car at Gosport!!!!!! )
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