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Old 09 July 2014, 15:40   #1
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"Pan Pan...This is Coast Guard San Francisco..."

I hear this call go out over the radio on channel 16, so I lean in towards the radio to listen to it. Coast Guard San Francisco goes "We have a report of a 14ft red Zodiac in need of assistance in Raccoon Straights. Any boats available please render assistance, out". So here we are in a 14ft red Zodiac in Raccoon Straights (Part of the San Francisco Bay) and since I have been watching the other boats around us I have not seen nor can spot another red SIB or RIB anywhere. Lots of sailboats though. My first thought is they must mean us. It was a little rough and windy, so we are off plane going around 9 miles per hour so I don't beat the 3 other crew members up. No one on the boat is complaining as I am going pretty slow and just rolling over the waves, and we are staying dry.

So with mic/speaker in hand I start moving again wondering if I should contact the Coast Guard or not? About 4 minutes later a CG lifeboat comes past us headed into the straights, fairly far away but they can obviously tell we are a red Zodiac and under power making headway, so my concern is there really could be a 14ft Zodiac in need of assistance but we can not see any. We round the corner and the CG lifeboat goes out of view. A few minutes after that another call goes out from Coast Guard San Francisco that the "14ft red Zodiac has been assisted".

We had launched from Horse Shoe Cove where the Coast Guard is stationed out of. They had to have seen us come in, yet no one came out to chat. The question becomes was there really a "rescue/assistance" provided to a red Zodiac, or did someone call the CG on us, and when they saw us underway and the rest of the straights clear they called it off by saying "Assistance has been rendered", or was there really another boat in need of help? Should I have contacted the Coast Guard and let them know it wasn't us? Turning around and searching for a distressed boat wasn't really a good option as the swells were pretty big, and the crew wouldn't have been happy. Plus there were plenty of other bigger boats and lots of eyes on the water. What would you have done in our situation?
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Old 09 July 2014, 17:52   #2
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I think there must have been another red Zodiac out there. USCG would have made contact with you even if they saw you motoring away. It would be ok to let them and the other vessels know that you were also out there and not to get mixed up. You didn't hear any calls go out from the other red Zodiac?
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Old 09 July 2014, 23:38   #3
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I think you probably should have called as soon as you heard the Pan-Pan. At the very least you could let them know that there was another 14' red Zodiac that didn't need assistance. If they get your location, that's one less stop on the way to finding the problem vessel.

Don't know about Sector SF, but I've heard people call CG Monterey to find out resolution of calls.

Glad to hear it wasn't you, though.

jky
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Old 10 July 2014, 03:27   #4
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Give them a ring & see what the final result was. If only to satisfy everybody's curiosity
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Old 11 July 2014, 02:31   #5
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Well I called the SF Coast Guard today and spoke with a very nice gentleman there. He looked up the call and it turns out there was another boat in distress, except it was a grey and black Zodiac. Turns out they were located a couple of miles from us, and out of site by either the waves, distance, or a piece of land.

I asked him about me contacting them to let them know it wasn't me, and he said I should have on either channel 16, or via cell phone, just to let them know I had a well running boat, along with my location.

So I learned a little bit about helping the people, helping us.
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Old 11 July 2014, 02:55   #6
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Thank you
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