Originally Posted by jyasaki
Are you implying that a button-initiated DSC mayday is given a lower priority than a voice call?
That doesn't sound right.
There is a process to be followed in the CG station.
In case 1 a boat in distress presses red button followed by a voice call on 16 (the 'correct' way)
In case 2 a boat in distress does a voice only call. Still correct. Fractionally quicker to make the voice first contact but inevitably slower / prone to error in positioning. The end of the initial 2 way call is likely to be longer than case 1.
In case 3 that appeared to be described of just red button and nothing more, the CG station would digitally acknowledge the distress. But as they know very little they don't know what assets to deploy, they will await a voice call on 16 per the DSC protocol. That means they leave 16 free and listen... Patiently.
At some point they will then call the vessel. But they then need to know what to call it. The MMSI is not exactly snappy and if someone hit red but doesn't know protocol they may not know the MMSI. So they need to look up the vessel details from CG66, the IMO database etc. Then call it. I'd say from DSC alerts I've heard where there was no voice call that can be 2-3 minutes before the voice call out is made saying something like... "Vessel ABC, Vessel ABC MMSI 123567890 this is xx Coastguard, over" on contact "We have received a DSC Distress Alert from your vessel, can you confirm all is OK on board, over?
If no response was achieved then they will deploy assets to investigate. But depending on location, etc that may be a request to any vessel in the area with information. They may be phoning shore contacts or mobile numbers. Some of these things can happen in parallel.
Give them enough to be live the brown stuff is really hitting the fan and I'm sure assets will be deployed faster. So an accompanying EPIRB / PLB activation, or even a selected type if distress type may mean they are less likely to think it an accidental activation.
Cheeki Rafiki activated a PLB and despite Boston CG knowing she was shipping water there was a pause if 17 minutes while they tried to contact the boat including by Email! I really hope if I ever press red or PLB that someone doesn't email me to say am I OK!