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Old 11 January 2008, 05:22   #1
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Filing passage plans with CG

  1. How many of you file passage plans with the CG before setting off?
  2. How long (distance, time) does a trip have to be before you bother?
  3. Do you ever feel like you are waisting your time? Or have the CG ever implied or suggested you might be?
  4. How detailed are the plans you file? e.g. start point, end point (rough route) and ETA? or do you actually go more detailed?
  5. Do you phone them or radio them?
  6. How reliable are they at investigating if you do fall overdue? I know that sounds like a stupid question - but if I have left instructions with my wife to call the CG if I have not called in at 17:00 she will probably call them by 17:10 and I would then expect them to initiate their normal procedures straight away. If I have advised the CG that I am due back by 17:00 - when will they actually start trying to find me (presumably by radio first)? Could I be waiting an hour for them before they even get concerned - as unlike my wife they don't know how certain I was to be back for that time?
To date I have always just left our "passage plans" with a shore contact. However this has always included a significant scope for unexpected delays because if I have no way to call "home" then I don't want a minor glitch or a slightly extended lunch to cause any unwarranted concern either at home or in the CG office. However that "extra time" could be an extra hour or two that I spend bobbing up and down in the sea if something really bad happens...

All thoughts welcome.
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Old 11 January 2008, 05:47   #2
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Niel, that's a good question and I'm often not sure. A bit like wearing a life jacket inside a cabin.
Normally I don't call the CG.
If I'm on my own at night I do.
If the weather is very rough I might.
When I've had a group of folk aboard where I felt I should call (an emotive feeling based on nothing) I've called them.

They've always been pleased to hear from me.
They almost always ask that I call when I arrive, which I would do anyway. But, I once got involved in other things and forgot; they didn't call me.
I usually call on the VHF.
I call if I'm leaving a car overnight because folk around the harbour generally keep an eye open for activity and could get alarmed if I didn't return at night. I use the phone for this call so that I don't tell everyone where my car is sitting unattended. I did this one time and a few weeks later found that there had been a call to the CG for that very reason but the watch had changed and the new folk hadn't noticed the notes about me. The local part time CG (who related the story to me) had been called to check things out. They finally got it sorted and found the notes about me so all was OK.

One one occasion at night I was on my own and called them, I had to do a wee detour because of fishing boats and it made me about 10 mins late, when I called, I could sense their relief.

It's worth making sure they have picked you up correctly. On the occasion above the CG lady repeated my plan back to me and she had picked up my destination as Port Edgar but I'd said Port Seton. I was leaving from Aberdour so it was in the opposite direction. That could have made a search tricky if it had been needed!

So, if in doubt, do call.

Oh, forgot. Boat name - Leaving from - to destination - number of persons on board - ETA.
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Old 11 January 2008, 06:09   #3
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I was once a coastguard, and it surprised me when I joined to know that they do NOT actually check up that you arrived. The reason is simply one of logistics.

Firstly they dont have time to do this - and all too often the destination is something like (as an instance) "Portsmouth" or "River Hamble". They have absolutely no way of knowing which of the marinas or anchorages you may be heading for.

So the moral of the story is simple.

- Tell HMCG about your trip. They will log the point at which you made the call and where you were - so that helps if you need to be searched for at a later time!

- Also tell someone else where you are going and make sure that person calls HMCG if you haven't reported in within an acceptable delay period. You should agree the delay period beforehand.

And as an afterthought! Get your vessel on CG66 with a photo of it as well.
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Old 11 January 2008, 06:32   #4
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Based upon what Jeff and Peter have said I wouldn't entrust the CG with this info for normal trips and would rely on the wife or another to get in contact with them should I be suitably late.

However if I where having to travel in rough weather or at night by ones self or if I felt caught out and vunerable I might feel the need to cover all bases but still rely on the wife as the panic button.

Would definatly involve the CG on travel to and from abroad, not so much because of safety, but more to do with nothing to declare sir.
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Old 11 January 2008, 06:45   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterb View Post
I was once a coastguard, and it surprised me when I joined to know that they do NOT actually check up that you arrived. The reason is simply one of logistics.

Firstly they dont have time to do this - and all too often the destination is something like (as an instance) "Portsmouth" or "River Hamble". They have absolutely no way of knowing which of the marinas or anchorages you may be heading for.
I wonder how many people know that, and how many assume that if you don't report back in - that they will attempt to contact you via radio and then via other means (using the CG66 info) and ultimately initiate a search.

Quote:
- Tell HMCG about your trip. They will log the point at which you made the call and where you were - so that helps if you need to be searched for at a later time!
I am not sure that really adds value then - I would be planning to make that call as I left the boat yard. My plan left at home would already "know" that info.
Quote:
- Also tell someone else where you are going and make sure that person calls HMCG if you haven't reported in within an acceptable delay period. You should agree the delay period beforehand.
Ok that it the current process.
Quote:
And as an afterthought! Get your vessel on CG66 with a photo of it as well.
CG66 already filed (with picture etc).
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Old 11 January 2008, 06:46   #6
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Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
Based upon what Jeff and Peter have said I wouldn't entrust the CG with this info for normal trips and would rely on the wife or another to get in contact with them should I be suitably late.

However if I where having to travel in rough weather or at night by ones self or if I felt caught out and vunerable I might feel the need to cover all bases but still rely on the wife as the panic button.

Would definatly involve the CG on travel to and from abroad, not so much because of safety, but more to do with nothing to declare sir.
With the greatest respect, I have to disgree with you. HMCG arent going to lose the information you give them. You will tell them where you are when you make the call - you will give them your best ETA, your endurance, POB etc etc - and all that will be noted. In the (hopefully unlikely) event of an SAR exercise to find you, its available immediately to HMCG via their systems.

HMCG wont then have to interrogate your distraught wife when you dont arrive safely, all she will have to do is to call them and give them very basic information.

Hence I cant see for the life of me why you "wouldnt entrust the coastguard"...
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Old 11 January 2008, 06:49   #7
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With the greatest respect, I have to disgree with you. HMCG arent going to lose the information you give them. You will tell them where you are when you make the call - you will give them your best ETA, your endurance, POB etc etc - and all that will be noted. In the (hopefully unlikely) event of an SAR exercise to find you, its available immediately to HMCG via their systems.

HMCG wont then have to interrogate your distraught wife when you dont arrive safely, all she will have to do is to call them and give them very basic information.

Hence I cant see for the life of me why you "wouldnt entrust the coastguard"...
Peter I think hightower is suggesting that I don't entrust the CG to initiate the enquiries into my delay.
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Old 11 January 2008, 06:51   #8
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My CG66 form is filled out too, this has all the info the CG want to include endurance possible crew numbers etc.

But if the CG isn't going to check up on me if I fail to call them and initiate a search as you suggest though "logistics" then why should I entrust them to hit the panic button?
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Old 11 January 2008, 06:57   #9
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But if the CG isn't going to check up on me if I fail to call them and initiate a search as you suggest though "logistics" then why should I entrust them to hit the panic button?
We are at cross-purposes. You are NOT entrusting them to hit the panic button. Your wife will do that.

However, by filing your passage plan with CG at the start of the trip - when your (very upset) wife calls in to the Ops Room, about all she will have to get accurate is your name and/or your boat name. They will have the rest and then the balloon will go up very quickly with all the details recorded from your passage plan.

This is much better than some poor person in the Ops Room having to get all of these details from a wife who - in some cases - could be so upset that about all they could do would be to give your full name.

Does this clarify??
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Old 11 January 2008, 07:20   #10
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I understand where your comming from Peter, but when I go out for a day in the Solent for instance I don't always know where I'm going. I might know the destination for lunch for instance Yarmouth or Cowes, but what I do in between these times is a mystery, how can I file a passage plan in these circumstances? I must say that I have all bases covered whilst at Sea and have a Fixed VHF and a hand held to include telephone in waterproof bag so I can contact the CG unless something disasterous happens. The very best that can happen is that my wife would phone the CG after trying to contact me first, if I failed to get back home in time.

Like I said, if I where doing a specific journey from A to D going past B and C on route to the channel islands or some where then I would contact them, but I wouldn't bother them at any other time regarding passage plans.
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Old 11 January 2008, 07:34   #11
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We are at cross-purposes. You are NOT entrusting them to hit the panic button. Your wife will do that.

However, by filing your passage plan with CG at the start of the trip - when your (very upset) wife calls in to the Ops Room, about all she will have to get accurate is your name and/or your boat name. They will have the rest and then the balloon will go up very quickly with all the details recorded from your passage plan.

This is much better than some poor person in the Ops Room having to get all of these details from a wife who - in some cases - could be so upset that about all they could do would be to give your full name.

Does this clarify??
I think that is precisely the reason not to leave it with someone who is likely to panic - wife may not always be the right person (although I think mine would be relatively calm - she would probably ask the coasties how long I have to be gone before she can claim the insurance!). Similarly my mother would probably delay an hour before calling the CG (no matter what she was briefed) - because "I didn't want to disturb them".

Surely its just a case of filing by ETA and ticking off when people report back in. If someone is overdue - knowing their exact destination is not critical to initiating enquiries - although if the information is vague (e.g. hamble) I accept that it might be difficult to trace a boat.
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Old 11 January 2008, 07:34   #12
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I always advise the coastguard when we're afloat. Where launched, where heading, how many aboard, when due ashore, and I advise anyone I'm training to do the same. I don't expect the CG( to panic if I'm not in on time or if I don't call when I've told them I'll be ashore (plans change, occasionally I forget!). I do expect them to have the details that will help SAR services find me if I do need them to react when my wife or maybe even someone who doesn't stand to benefit from the insurance) reports me missing.

On a trip from the south coast to the Clyde last year, when I called Clyde to report safe arrival they had access to my details and knew who we were etc .... the system works for me.
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Old 11 January 2008, 07:43   #13
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I have filed passage plans with the CG as i leave the solent
say to go to Jersey, This they tell me helps them with there monitoring of the shipping lanes as on radar a rib is a fast moving object that could be carrying
something they should ant . But i tell my wife or my dad what time i should be there
give or take a couple of hours, just remember to tell CG that you have completed your trip.
This year i am going to invest in a Eperb hope to god i will never have to use it but should give me and any passengers a comfort zone
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Old 11 January 2008, 07:45   #14
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I guess location has something to do with the need to inform the CG. As I live and RIB in the Solent Area I know that I as relitivley covered with regard who I contact. There is always a lifeboat station within easy range and even well covered with the Helecopter. To add to this, you are rarely alone in the Solent.

If I where to cruise somewhere I wasn't familiar with or was remote then contacting the CG would be a good Idea.

But I would still leave details with family or friends.
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Old 11 January 2008, 07:50   #15
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Quote from Solas V regs:

"If you are involved in a boating accident and it is subsequently shown that you have not applied the basic principles outlined in this leaflet, you could be prosecuted." If you don't have the leaflet, read it/download it from http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/solas.pdf

Reporting passage info to CG would certainly help your case if the worst did happen. It's different in Scotland. The CH here welcomes calls, I get the impression when I'm down on the South coast that the situation is rather different.
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Old 11 January 2008, 08:52   #16
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I was once a coastguard, and it surprised me when I joined to know that they do NOT actually check up that you arrived. The reason is simply one of logistics.

Firstly they dont have time to do this -
In the Forth area, if you call, you need to give them time to wake up , it's not the busiest of places most of the time.
Quote:
and all too often the destination is something like (as an instance) "Portsmouth" or "River Hamble". They have absolutely no way of knowing which of the marinas or anchorages you may be heading for.
Of course they have, they can ask.

Just a wee addition which I should have included with my first post. On one occasion I called them from the Isle of May before my trip home cos the wind was kicking up and I was on my own. A few minutes later they called to tell me to be sure I let them know when I arrived back. So they do seem to be looking out for you, at least, in this area.
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Old 11 January 2008, 08:59   #17
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Agree. Forth Coastguard are great. Well worth a trip to Fife Ness to have a look around if you get the chance
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Old 11 January 2008, 09:11   #18
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I guess location has something to do with the need to inform the CG.
This thread has triggered the mind to update our CG66. If anyone else needs to then the link is:

https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/public/cg66/

The login is likely to be your e mail address and there is even a password reset button because you will have forgotten it since you last registered. If you need to cancel then the phone numbers in the help section will get you through to your local CG who have to manually cancel a CG66.

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Old 11 January 2008, 10:45   #19
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I have filed passage plans with the CG as i leave the solent
say to go to Jersey, This they tell me helps them with there monitoring of the shipping lanes as on radar a rib is a fast moving object that could be carrying
something they should ant . But i tell my wife or my dad what time i should be there
give or take a couple of hours, just remember to tell CG that you have completed your trip.
This year i am going to invest in a Eperb hope to god i will never have to use it but should give me and any passengers a comfort zone
Considering we are always being told that small boats are very hard to spot on radar I wonder if this is really the case. I brought my boat back from Guernsey(minus refelctor) with no interference at all. I then phoned the national yacht line before stepping ashore and they just didn't want to know - wouldn't even take my name and address to show that I had phoned. I then had to chase THEM to pay the VAT!!!

I know NautiBuoy had all sorts of fun with customs etc but we can over on a nice sunny evening when there were loads of boats around. Of course no drug smugglers would EVER think of that..............
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Old 11 January 2008, 15:48   #20
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Considering we are always being told that small boats are very hard to spot on radar I wonder if this is really the case.
Deffinately not the case. The Royal Artillery RADAR at Manorbier, Pembroke tracked two ribs all the way across the Bristol Channel for 45 miles, even recording the time we turned to enter the harbour at Barnstaple. This was before the days we started carrying RADAR reflectors.

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