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Old 06 May 2013, 06:08   #21
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That Mayday doesn't sound as bad as the Pan-Pan I responded to yesterday in Cardiff Bay.

A boat issued a Pan-Pan due to an engine failure. I radioed asking for their exact position so I could assist - the response "We drifted alongside a pontoon and are now tied up alongside"

I regularly do radio checks with Swansea Coastguard, and they don't seem to mind as long as it's short & sweet.
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Old 06 May 2013, 13:33   #22
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It wouldn't be terribly unusual for a small RIB to simply not have an anchor and 20m of warp. So no engine and no anchor and a blowing into a shipping channel suddenly changes your situation...

You're still a plank though
Definitley a plank - but I would expect a Sailing Club RIB to have the minimum safety kit, which (from memory) includes an anchor.

But it appears that they had a radio......
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Old 06 May 2013, 14:30   #23
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But it appears that they had a radio......
Yes, it will have been for talking to the shore - Why not have forgotten their anchor? - they patently had forgotten their training...

BTW, I've seen a few "safety boats" that had very little safe about them
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Old 06 May 2013, 14:40   #24
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Was in Solent yesterday and HMC made the point of advising all radio checks to be made on Ch 67

Agree daft not to radio check
Yep, been out all weekend and the CG would complete the radio check and then advise to use 67 in the future during the summer season
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Old 06 May 2013, 15:54   #25
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Up here in the wild north there is not as much radio traffic. The CG don't monitor ch67. When leaving the marina I always hail them on 16 stating routine traffic, they then direct me to 67.
I then give details for the day, no of persons on board, planned activities (dives and location) then our planned time of return. As I am conversing with them I guess you can also call this a radio check as well.
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Old 07 May 2013, 08:27   #26
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The request for radio checks were coming in regularly on Channel 16 and as mentioned above were then asked to use 67 for non emergency traffic. Most of them came in straight on the back of another,
I was not suggesting radio checks were time wasting, just using the emergency frequency for everyday traffic.

It seems ridiculous that the Safety Boat was so inept as to not either carry or think to use an anchor before raising a Mayday.
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Old 07 May 2013, 09:21   #27
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Automated radio check

We like using Sea tows automated radio check service, Ask for radio check on proper channel and the system replays your transmission letting you her how you sound. Very cool.
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Old 07 May 2013, 09:53   #28
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We like using Sea tows automated radio check service, Ask for radio check on proper channel and the system replays your transmission letting you her how you sound. Very cool.
That sounds like an excellent system!
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Old 07 May 2013, 11:49   #29
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I was always taught that:

Mayday is used when life and/or property were in grave peril

Pan-Pan is used when a problem exists that may be hazardous, but is not as time-sensitive as a Mayday

A request for assistance is used when a problem exists, but no immediate danger is imminent.

Not sure how a broken down engine would qualify as a Mayday call, unless they were on the rocks or something.

jky

And, as an aside, on this side of the Pond, radio checks are supposed to carried out on something other than channel 16 (though to be fair, they rarely are. CG will chastise the offender if they feel like it.)
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Old 07 May 2013, 16:17   #30
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Never trust a volunteer

[QUOTE=Poly;534441
I think that's a bit harsh the advice here is always to call them early, never to worry about "overstating" a Mayday and let them do exactly what they did and downgrade it. Yes the club should have people who have been properly trained on their boats including the procedure to follow in the even of a breakdown. Sadly, its not uncommon for Sailing Club Rescue boats to be manned by relatively inexperienced well meaning people - who perhaps did a PB2 5 yrs ago and go out one day a year. Not all PB instructors are created equal and thus some will have spend less time on the steps to take on the engine conking out than others.

Personally I'd much rather they over reacted and got some quick advice on anchoring than washed up on shore or in the path of a ship whilst the kiddies were in trouble. If there were lots of inexperienced youngsters I would have hoped the club at least had a 'back up plan' in place - but I can see the cause for concern (although I wouldn't have called MayDay myself) - and how if its the first time you've ever been on a boat with a dead engine and you are supposed to be 'looking after' X dinghies that you follow the MayDay procedure and read the words printed above the radio...

QUOTE]

I couldn't disagree with you more. I find no justification whatsoever for tolerating bad or inept practice. These monkees should have had somebody who was on the case supervising them until they were competent to drive the boat, fix it and drive the radio. No matter how many years that may take!.


You say that its sadly not uncommon for clubs rescue boats to be manned by relatively inexperienced but well meaning people Surely that is a deriliction of any legal resposibilty and duty of care that the club has to it's members. I'm presuming this doesn't happen in RYA affiliated sailing clubs
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Old 07 May 2013, 17:21   #31
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I couldn't disagree with you more. I find no justification whatsoever for tolerating bad or inept practice. These monkees should have had somebody who was on the case supervising them until they were competent to drive the boat, fix it and drive the radio. No matter how many years that may take!.
Well I kind of agree, but there is a constructive way to deal with it and there is a "public humiliation on the radio" way...
Quote:
You say that its sadly not uncommon for clubs rescue boats to be manned by relatively inexperienced but well meaning people Surely that is a deriliction of any legal resposibilty and duty of care that the club has to it's members.
quite possibly... ...but as with many 'sports' or 'activity' clubs they only exist because some people devote some of their time to benefit others. Its not always as well organised or managed as you might hope. There is often a belief that its worked fine for 20 yrs so we will just do the same, and paperwork and elf n safety are all PC nonsense. Not saying its right - but are the coasties that out of touch?

Now would the coasties rather that some inexperienced person has a bit of a panic and shouts mayday when its not, and doesn't think to drop anchor OR the equally plausible situation that some guy who's been out every saturday for the last 20 years, doesn't call them because he thinks he can manage it - then at the "other end of the field" some kid gets in bother and has a delayed rescue.

Personally I'd rather trust my kids to the one who shouts for help and gets the "calm down" chat, than the one who bullishly believes they are superman when all they do is plod round the harbour every week.

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I'm presuming this doesn't happen in RYA affiliated sailing clubs
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Old 07 May 2013, 18:37   #32
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Well I kind of agree, but there is a constructive way to deal with it and there is a "public humiliation on the radio" way...
:
I don't recall supporting a dressing down for the monkees over the radio My problem is with the organ grinder and not the monkees which is why I said the club should be fined


Quote:
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but as with many 'sports' or 'activity' clubs they only exist because some people devote some of their time to benefit others. Its not always as well organised or managed as you might hope. There is often a belief that its worked fine for 20 yrs so we will just do the same, and paperwork and elf n safety are all PC nonsense. Not saying its right - but are the coasties that out of touch?

Now would the coasties rather that some inexperienced person has a bit of a panic and shouts mayday when its not, and doesn't think to drop anchor OR the equally plausible situation that some guy who's been out every saturday for the last 20 years, doesn't call them because he thinks he can manage it - then at the "other end of the field" some kid gets in bother and has a delayed rescue.
:
I am sure the Coastie would prefer the wrong call than none and as previously stated I am not condoning the public admonition. I do feel however that the Coasties are very much in order to chase down the sailing club because anyway you look at it that safety team wasn't good enough.

re your other point either way the kids in the shite cos theres a delay on both scenarios. Far better for him to be looked out for by trained experienced and competent persons which the monkees will hopefully turn into in time with the proper mentoring

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Personally I'd rather trust my kids to the one who shouts for help and gets the "calm down" chat, than the one who bullishly believes they are superman when all they do is plod round the harbour every week. :
You kids your risk I guess I wouldn't trust mine to either Stereotypes


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quite possibly... :

Very probably I would have thought.
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Old 08 May 2013, 16:55   #33
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I always use fixed vhf to do radio check with humber cg then as leaving boat club call harbour master on handheld make sure channel clear to leave the river but more importantly to makesure its working too
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Old 09 May 2013, 02:40   #34
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Out of interest did antone waste the CGs time by logging a passage plan.
Sorry, wasting time by passage plans? Not our view...
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Old 10 May 2013, 05:36   #35
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Nor mine. I was being a little to subtle in my criticism of someone advocating that CG Radio checks were a waste of the CG's time
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Old 10 May 2013, 05:58   #36
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Nor mine. I was being a little to subtle in my criticism of someone advocating that CG Radio checks were a waste of the CG's time
Subtle? that's not like you!
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Old 10 May 2013, 06:18   #37
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Nor mine. I was being a little to subtle in my criticism of someone advocating that CG Radio checks were a waste of the CG's time
Fair enough, I thought it was odd coming from you!
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Old 10 May 2013, 10:18   #38
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It is very difficult for sailing clubs to find suitably skilled volunteers to man the Safety Boats. At HISC we are lucky to be a large club with resources and have an extremely well organised series of training courses that will take anyone who is interested from PBL2, Safety Boat course, Advanced PB, First Aid, VHF courses and more.
We have approximately 350 PBL2 drivers of which most have also done the Safety Boat course as well as First Aid and VHF. We run refresher courses for those who don't get on the water very often and are constantly updating training and techniques as better ideas filter through. The club RIBs are all in excellent condition and fully equipped, with 2 new ones this season and 2 last year. With a total fleet of around 13 club Ribs with a proper ongoing maintenance and replacement scheme in place.
On a busy weekend, it is not unusual for there to be 150+ boats on the water at any time with them scattered over the Harbour and out in the Bay (often topping 250 if we have a couple of open meetings) When needed we have members with their own RIBs to bolster the numbers. We always have our work cut out and constantly push the standard of Safety to a very high level.
That being said there will always be the odd incident, but to date nothing serious.

When you are relying on the goodwill of your members to staff the Safety Boats, you cannot cherry pick the people you want, it is often difficult to get sufficient volunteers to give up their time as it is. They will be trained to the highest standard we can, but if not regular users, will always have a touch of rustiness.
If we have a RIB breakdown, they are trained to drop anchor and radio the club for assistance. If Hayling Rescue is out and about, Frank will always head over and assist, usually negating any other help.

We are fortunate to be a large club with reasonable resources and backup. Even if you don't have our setup, there is no justification to yell Mayday at the first opportunity unless it genuinely is a life threatening situation. When quizzed by the CG, it sounded as though dropping an anchor hadn't crossed their mind. The CG did not lecture them at all,. He was calm, methodical and polite, although he did sound a little strained. In one transmission, the boat sent to sort them out was asked to check with the club about their operating procedures.
Chances are the fault was something stupid such as not undoing the vent on the tank or the fuel hose not attached to the can / engine properly.
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Old 10 May 2013, 10:28   #39
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+1 on Jky's summary


....safety boat.

On it's own? OK, Possible. - Any dingy thing I have ever sailed at has the safety fleet / boat in contact with "Shore base" or whatever they call it. I do have to ask - why didn't they just shout back "home" on the working channel?

And yes , +1 on Rokraiders's comments re. volunteering - I have on many an evening thought I was going for a sail & ended up driving a searider when the scheduled crew didn't arrive.
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Old 10 May 2013, 15:45   #40
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rockraider - that sounds like a challenge to manage - i wonder how you know which of the 350 skippers are good / bad (not just have the certificate), and if you are can't pick n choose if your control is any better than the other club. Interested to know what additional training you do with your guys. One club I know of had never run and major incident exercises and thought it was a crazy suggestion.

9d280 - its not unusual for a small club to have only one boat afloat. Not all have a shore contact with a radio either.
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