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Old 26 May 2004, 12:30   #1
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Seastart & RNLI rescue

Well, finally got my RIB and am totally hooked!

Given that I am generally out with my wife and 3 young children, safety is uppermost in my mind. I have looked though some past threads and seen mention of seastart - the 'AA' of the sea.

Can someone explain what happens if, say, our engine gives up off the coast and we need help. If I have seastart and am in their zone of coastline, then that seems straightforward. However, without seastart, can one in general call up the RNLI for this sort of problem. I guess I'm asking why does one need seastart when the RNLI are at hand? What is the criteria for using the services of the RNLI?

I am thinking of a spare outboard as discussed here before which would hopefully get around engine problems, though am interested in other options before this.

Can anyone share their experiences?

Thanks,
John
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Old 26 May 2004, 12:45   #2
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John,


You need to Remeber that the RNLI are a search and rescue orginisation.

If you call them out for a broken engine you need to take into account that it is the same as calling out an ambulance.

If seastart are available them use them. If not call the Coastguard and we will try to arrange some sort of assistance, but if nothing else is available we request a lifeboat to come to your assistance.

Obviously if you are in any doubt about your safety then call the coastguard. It would even be a goog idea to call them even if you have called Sea start.

We are a friendly lot and will not leave you out there to suffer, and the lifeboats are always more than willing to assist at anytime.

In conclusion please tell the coastguard if you have anyproblems at all on the water. It is better to tell us early than late.
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Old 26 May 2004, 14:08   #3
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Sound advice from Gingercoastie.

The RNLI is an emergency service like ambulance, fire or police. Its not the AA or the RAC. IMHO call the RNLI if there is risk of injury or death. Call them out "friviously" and you might have them attending to you when someone else reall needs their help! If Seastart cover your area then spend the money if it reassures you but the key is to be self reliant. Know what you are about through training and building up experience. Have an aux engine if you will but more importantly carry and know how to use an anchor and sea anchor. Going Ribbing in company is another excellent way to build experience and reassurance if anything goes wrong. So look on Rib.net for cruises and likeminded folk & maybe join BIBOA.

Oh yes and do join the RNLI & donate. Its the right thing to do!
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Old 26 May 2004, 14:55   #4
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Rnli

Its worth noting that the RNLI are voluntary apart from the retained men and wemon mechanics who travel with the Trents Severns etc, I know there are a few exceptions, Thames Lifeboat crew are retained to minimise the difficulties London Traffic would present, in a shout, also the isolated Spurn pensuilia crew are retained to the best of my knowledge.
Also note this, the Coastguard has absolutely no authourity in Ireland anyway to make a Lifeboat launch, they can only ask for them to launch, I know that they always do launch invariably, but they really are for emergencys, funds volunteers collect etc are regualrly eaten into by hoaxes and tow in jobs, people running out of fuel etc.
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Old 26 May 2004, 15:04   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Walpole
What is the criteria for using the services of the RNLI?
You can't actually call the RNLI, it's up to the coastguard to decide whether or not they are called.

If you do run out of fuel or have an engine breakdown (and it happens to just about everyone sooner or later), if you can't make your own arrangements for recovery your best best is to call the coastguard. This should be a routine call, not a Pan Pan or Mayday!

If you are somewhere busy like the Solent they will probably put out a call asking whether there is anyone willing and able to assist you which will probably do the trick. As a last resort they may launch a lifeboat.

It's up to them though and if you actually request a lifeboat in a non urgent situation I wouldn't expect a particularly sympathetic response!

John
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Old 26 May 2004, 15:36   #6
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i agree with all the comments i go out with my kids and would only call the
coast guard if life is in danger buy a vhf use channel 16 and ask for some one to help when i go out i have the vhf set to 16 and what ever channel your mates are on most people would be willing to help tow you in or to a safe port
just ask i would help
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Old 26 May 2004, 15:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavin
the Coastguard has absolutely no authourity in Ireland anyway to make a Lifeboat launch, they can only ask for them to launch,
This is the same in the UK, we request a launch from the Lifeboat Operations Manager for each station. As you say, we have never had one refuse.
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Old 27 May 2004, 08:10   #8
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Thanks for all your useful comments.

Done my level II powerboating, now best get my VHF course booked so that I know how to communicate properly with you guys on the water!
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Old 27 May 2004, 12:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Walpole
Thanks for all your useful comments.

Done my level II powerboating, now best get my VHF course booked so that I know how to communicate properly with you guys on the water!
I needs to get the VHF course also. What is the quickest least painful way to do it? Is it possible to do online / distance learn, bookwork and then a quick test?

Where is the nearest place I can do it to Aylesbury - how do I find a suitable centre?

Thanks

Bruce
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Old 27 May 2004, 13:01   #10
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Vhf

I did my course last september in Southampton.

One day, 0900 hrs - 1700 hrs. No distance learning. Cost £72 plus certificate RYA fee of £19. No great shakes. hardest thing was to get a date that was available and suitable.

There are plenty of sites in Sothampton. Just do a search on the web. The fee seems to be pretty standard.

Nick R
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