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Old 27-10-2011, 10:12   #31
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

You are right that a voice comm is more demanding in some ways than a DSC distress call, but if I get the DSC Test Reply in 10 seconds, that's really my main concern. It is round trip, so it acknowledges that the Coasties can get my distress call directly and I always have the added margin of relay from other ships.

However, a digital transmission that's round trip with no bit errors on the key information fields is pretty demanding in and of itself.

The difference is how long the channel has to be working...it's milliseconds for DSC and 10's of seconds for voice. This is why DSC is such an important improvement that people should invest in from a safety point of view.
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Old 27-10-2011, 10:23   #32
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

The Coast Guard does have RDF's (radio direction finders). Back in the "old days" boats and ships had these, some still do. RDF's do not work by triangulation but by phase amplification and cancellation using a special type of antenna. The Coasties also have portable RDF's which means that after they have a good idea of which marina or area that a bogus Mayday is being broadcasted from, they have the ability to walk around a marina for example and to nail the specific boat the distress is being broadcasted from.

If you ever hear a fake mayday, do not let on that you know it is fake. The best thing to do is to just stay off the radio. The Coast Guard already suspects it's fake and wants very much to bust them. Don't interfere. The Coast Guard will have the perpetrators key their mike for as long as they can which enables them to better figure out the location of the transmission using their RDF.
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Old 27-10-2011, 10:29   #33
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

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The Coast Guard does have RDF's (radio direction finders). Back in the "old days" boats and ships had these, some still do. RDF's do not work by triangulation but by phase amplification and cancellation. The Coasties also have portable RDF's which means that after they have a good idea of which marina or area that a bogus Mayday is being broadcasted from, they have the ability to walk around a marina for example and to nail which boat the distress is being broadcasted from.

If you ever hear a fake mayday, do not let on that you know it is fake. The best thing to do is to just stay off the radio. The Coast Guard already suspects it's fake and wants very much to bust them. The Coast Guard will have the perpetrators key their mike for as long as they can which enables them to better figure out the location of the transmission using their RDF.
Good luck trying to find someone with a handheld RDF...unless the newer ones they are issuing are light years ahead of what they had a decade ago...the trick is keeping the violater on the air long enough also.

Hoaxes usually don't cost the taxpayers one additional dime...you are just pulling the rescue guys away from the TV or working on their cars.

Even the new Rescue 21 system is not accurate enough to pinpoint a single radio unless it's improved dramatically in the last few years....the USCG always had to call in a FCC mobile locating unit to locate the offender...my guess is they still do and it takes mutiple day of offenses to justify getting a mobile locating unit to show up.
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Old 27-10-2011, 10:33   #34
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

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Good luck trying to find someone with a handheld RDF...unless the newer ones they are issuing are light years ahead of what they had a decade ago...the trick is keeping the violater on the air long enough also.

Hoaxes usually don't cost the taxpayers one additional dime...you are just pulling the rescue guys away from the TV or working on their cars.

Even the new Rescue 21 system is not accurate enough to pinpoint a single radio unless it's improved dramatically in the last few years....the USCG always had to call in a FCC mobile locating unit to locate the offender...my guess is they still do and it takes mutiple day of offenses to justify getting a mobile locating unit to show up.
The ones the Coasties use seem to work for them.

Hoaxes do cost the taxpayers money and put lives at risk when you consider the cost of launching boats and aircraft. Bogus maydays are very serious especially if a rescuer were to die searching for a victim that does not exist.
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Old 27-10-2011, 13:10   #35
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

"Hoaxes usually don't cost the taxpayers one additional dime...you are just pulling the rescue guys away from the TV or working on their cars"

Nice

Hoaxes do cost the taxpayer money and risk the lives of not only official responders (who in many cases are called away from families and any personal activities they might be engaged in) but recreational boaters who are obligated to respond as well. I have seen and been involved in very aggressive responses to known hoaxers by port police, lifeguard and CG patrol vessels. Not unlike the attitude taken by firefighters towards vandals who used to pull the old red box fire alarms that pulled firemen away from their carwashing and poker games
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Old 27-10-2011, 18:39   #36
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

Yeah...guess all those 20+ years as a USCG helo pilot and senior officer just escaped me...especially when it comes to all those flight hour and boat fuel meetings I sat through...

Yep...good thing I come to this forum to learn so much...especially from the experts who I guess sit on the congressional subcommittee for USCG appropriations...yep I guess you know more than me...

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Old 27-10-2011, 19:36   #37
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

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Yeah...guess all those 20+ years as a USCG helo pilot and senior officer just escaped me...especially when it comes to all those flight hour and boat fuel meetings I sat through...

Yep...good thing I come to this forum to learn so much...especially from the experts who I guess sit on the congressional subcommittee for USCG appropriations...yep I guess you know more than me...

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Well at least your casting the CG in a courteous a professional light.

I think the whole point here is that your idea of cost and someone else's might differ slightly. There is the cost for the CG and the human toll.

Let's not forget either that the OP states "A Detroit man was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for making a hoax call about a capsized boat to the U.S. Coast Guard, cost*ing the govern*ment roughly $53,000 in search and res*cue efforts." I am assuming this friendly reporter got his stats from a government agent. Maybe someone who has also spent some time on a congressional committee for appropriation.
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Old 27-10-2011, 20:02   #38
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

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Well at least your casting the CG in a courteous a professional light.

I think the whole point here is that your idea of cost and someone else's might differ slightly. There is the cost for the CG and the human toll.

Let's not forget either that the OP states "A Detroit man was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for making a hoax call about a capsized boat to the U.S. Coast Guard, cost*ing the govern*ment roughly $53,000 in search and res*cue efforts." I am assuming this friendly reporter got his stats from a government agent. Maybe someone who has also spent some time on a congressional committee for appropriation.
There's an hourly cost (what the reporter quoted..they usually aren't too bright) associated with operations of equipment and often used but is way off base the way they are used. Those numbers are just there to show what the taxpayers are getting for their money...but the money is budgeted and the USCG operates within that budget (to a point no matter what they are asked to do.

The USCG is fully funded at the beginning of the year and the money is spent whether they sit watching TV or flying/driving small boats/ or sailing ships. There are no additional costs to the tax payers whether the Coasties go out every day or there are zero rescues.

I'm not portraying the USCG in any light... just explaining the reality of it as most people don't seem to understand how government agencies are funded.
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Old 28-10-2011, 04:41   #39
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

Got the funding point but if the crew is chasing wild geese when another call comes in, it slows down response or divides resources. I think your point is that the money is spent one way or the other and that's the cost of a standing force. It is still, however, a fixed resource and driven to priority setting when dumb SOB's jerk them around. Got two uncharacterized false alarms and a real emergency? Which one comes first?
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Old 28-10-2011, 04:49   #40
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Re: Fake Distress Calls

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Got the funding point but if the crew is chasing wild geese when another call comes in, it slows down response or divides resources. I think your point is that the money is spent one way or the other and that's the cost of a standing force. It is still, however, a fixed resource and driven to priority setting when dumb SOB's jerk them around. Got two uncharacterized false alarms and a real emergency? Which one comes first?
agree about hoaxes being a wraparound issue...and it's a problem...a small one...but there.

I agree that hoax callers cshould face penalties up to the same as attempted murder as people have pointed out. The risk to others including the rescue crew could be fatal...but hanging people for stupidity has never been our style...though some hoax callers have a bit more evil in them than just stupidity...those are the types that really should be removed from society...THEY are flat out dangerous people.
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