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Old 07 June 2004, 08:06   #1
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When is the Lifeboat the solution ?.

Hi folks

When is sending the lifeboat out the best solution & who decides ?.

This thread is based from this Saturday, and to which I dont know all the details, so is a more generic question ?.

On saturday we saw the Fleetwood lifeboat towing a 26-30 foot ish power cruiser. The day was fine, little wind or swell, infact a calm nice day.

Now I dont know why the power cruiser was being towed, but lets assume it had broken down/run out of fuel.

They was in no danger, could have anchored if needed.

Based on this assumption, who decides that the best solution is to call out the lifeboat ?.

If it was a simple tow in their must have been 50 boats withing visual range that day many capable of offering a tow. I heard no requests for help, from the power cruiser or coastguard.

I would have though if my assumptions was correct getting a local tow back to the marina, maybe 5 miles was a more suitable solution.
This would leave the lifeboat for use where real life was in danger.

So a few questions, maybe for any coastguards or lifeboat crew.

If you had a boat in little or no danger in need of a tow, or other help, would you try to get a nearby boat to provide this rather then call the lifeboat out.

Another point is we all lissen to 16, but if calls are diverted to another channel, which is often not monitored, vessels very close who could help would not know of the sittuation.

Taking this one step further, when the coastguard talk to lifeboats they always use channel 0. Now I know the need to a private channel, I am a member of of mountain rescue team so know some things are better said on closed channels whic are always clear, but if non sensitive traffic was conducted on open channels people would be aware that help was needed and maybe be able to provide it quicker.

So whats people thoughts?.

Are we/coastguard/lifeboats not trying to help each other ?.

The coastguard & lifeboats provide excellent service and have my great respect, but can they help us to help ourselves more.

Regards Gary
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Old 07 June 2004, 08:35   #2
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I have heard quite a lot of this sort of thing these days - sounds like a great way of the RNLI bumping up their statistics - a shame really as I have never needed figures to persuade me to dip in my pocket - they are a wonderfull bunch without equal anywhere in the world - just goes to show you can have a really proffesional outfit run by amateurs!

Whilst bumping up the figures may seem attractive I think this sort of thing will lead to more problems than it solves - it will encourage people to skimp on the usual saftey checks etc as "the lifeboat can always rescue us".

They are NOT the RAC and never will be - by encouraging this sort of thing to push up their figures people will start treating them as such.

Of course it does provide training etc for the crews but I still think they are going down a slippery slope!
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Old 07 June 2004, 09:35   #3
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if you are out on your boat nice day no danger and the engine stops dead
ive all way been told by all the lads i have been out with to use channel 16
to call for help. as most local boats would help as i would help them if i could
but if you use a moble phone thats what may be the problem as you call 999
and ask for the goast guard and as you have called 999 its logged as such
not a request for a tow or something minior that others could help with
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Old 07 June 2004, 10:05   #4
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If you have a problem at sea, the best (and preferred) course of action is to contact the Coastguard and let them know. This doesn't need to be a distress call unless it is urgent, but it means that if the situation deteriorates then the Coastguard will have some warning.

If you need routine assistance and you are somewhere busy like the Solent, then the Coastguard will most likely put out a call to all ships asking whether anyone is in a position to assist. If it is more serious, or there is no response, they may ask the lifeboat to launch.

It is the Coastguard who decides whether or not the lifeboat is called.

John
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Old 07 June 2004, 16:06   #5
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Misconception

It saddens me when someone refers to the crews of the RNLI as amateurs.

Quote
"
sounds like a great way of the RNLI bumping up their statistics - a shame really as I have never needed figures to persuade me to dip in my pocket - they are a wonderfull bunch without equal anywhere in the world - just goes to show you can have a really proffesional outfit run by amateurs! "


Without a shadow of a doubt these men and women are highly trained professionals.In Dun Laoghaire for instance some of the crew who are regularly trained up and tested are re tested and achieve high levels of competence in all aspects of saftey, medical, navigational survival and helmanship.
Some of these guys have instructers tickets, yacht masters medical tickets, mechanics etc etc.The charity regularly returns crew to Poole for courses, retraining and advancement of their skills.
It would also be true to say that in Ireland anyway their coverage and resources and rescue capabality surpass that of the Irish Coastguard and Naval services.The investment into these crews and equipment is constant and unequalled.I have seen small outboard parts airfreighted into the station for fear of a D class being out of service.
All of their equipment is like new, backed up by spares, including crews and crew gear.
Lets not be in any doubt, this is not an Amateur organisation.
Trained Proffesionals on 24 our call 365 days a year.
They excerise every week here, winter nights summer days
Its also not in the organisations interest to Bump up figures,
look at the launch costs
several thousand euro per launch of a Trent or Severn.
All money raised buy themselves, who are they bumping their figures for?
every unnessceary launch costs money, fuel depreciation and wear and tear, not to mention the time lost from work and businesses, from the individuals who crew the boats.
We see it all the time here, Gin Palaces sit all winter in the Marina, pumps etc drain batteries and they are left on all winter with no one down to the boat.The boat gets a quick booster start the first sunny day of spring.Off the boat goes, stops to do a spot of fishing, try to restart with a dried out flat defunkt battery and lets call the Lifeboat.
They certainally dont encourage boaters to go out and break down to bump up their figures,They dont need to falsify numbers they are busy as it is.
The institution also provides a free sea check, why would they do that if they wanted to up the amount of rescues?
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Old 08 June 2004, 08:25   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavin
Quote
"Its also not in the organisations interest to Bump up figures,
look at the launch costs
several thousand euro per launch of a Trent or Severn.
All money raised buy themselves, who are they bumping their figures for?
every unnessceary launch costs money, fuel depreciation and wear and tear, not to mention the time lost from work and businesses, from the individuals who crew the boats.
This was my point !!

Should boaters not be used to help each other more ?.

To me the lifeboats & coastguard are for when things turn to S***, not for a ferry to deliver a few gallons of fuel.

For some help is not the use of other boats a better solution ?.
I have been boating for many years and have seen many people towed in, run out of fuel etc.

As most people would in the first case call the coastguard for help, I have never heard once a request from the coastguard if anyone in the vicinity could help.

I for one would be happy to help, it may be me one day, .

Am I wrong, do the coastguard make use of other craft & I have never heard the calls ?.

Is it coordinated or just a case of hearing the conversation between the coastguard & other vessle & putting 2+2 toghther ?.

Regards Gary
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Old 08 June 2004, 08:53   #7
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Whilst bobing in Southampton water the other Friday I did in fact here Solent CG ask for a vessel to help with a tow in Brighton.

So yes it does happen.

My 6 year old daughter hit the nail on the head at the weekend.
After seeing the capsize drill and akinf a few questions about the RNLI she said unprompted
"daddy those life boat men are very brave"

She was right they are.
I have a few good friends in the RNLI and they are.

Regards
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Old 08 June 2004, 08:58   #8
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Gavin seems to have taken my comments TOTALLY the wrong way! Most of our lifeboat crews ARE amateur but that does NOT mean they don't act in a professional manner - never said that or implied it - in fact I said they were without equal anywhere in the whole world! By amateur I mean unpaid volunteer - same thing!

Anyway amateurs can often be better at their job/sport than the so called pros - for example who would you rather teach your kids mountain climbing - some instructor with a string of qualifications but little experience or someone like Chris Bonnington or Reinhold Messner who have all the EXPERIENCE one could ever ask for? Often people like this are self taught with no qualifications to their name. People rely too much on qualifications these days!

Back to the original argument of bumping up the statistics I have been reading many boating publications for a long time and many people are reporting being assisted by lifeboats when it wasn't really needed or asked for.

I have NOTHING against this in itself - it is always nice to be helped out but I am concerned SOME people may start taking the RNLI for granted.
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Old 08 June 2004, 09:04   #9
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Boaters to help wach other more !

On this point I have a funny true story to tell.

On Sunday afternoon, making my way back across the Solent to Southampton after RIBEX, I was oppersite the Hamble entrance when I was flagged down by a floating Gin Palace, approx 35ft in length, that was stopped in the middle of the channel but out of the main shipping lane. I slowed down from 15kt to Okt & asked what the problem was.
He said his engine was overheating.

I replied ' oh, that's OK, I'm SINKING! & pointed at the deflated tube on my port side caused by a 16 in hole along the rear cone..

I then told him to give it 10 minutes & restart the engine & see if the temps went up again...

Then said I wouldn't really be able to help him & left...

I also have to thank TIMBOLI & family for bringing my girlfriend & mate across on his yacht their boat was a lot more sea worthy than mine....

Pete
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