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Old 10-07-2014, 17:09   #1
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Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

So with a couple of threads going on about rescues I got curious about the ease and accessibility to SAR these days and surmised that it must be getting "easier" to bail out on a trip with the many ways to access SAR.

Has the community lowered self and boat preparation standards, particularly expertise in weather, choosing weather windows, having and knowing how to use storm gear on board?

In other words - are we as a community relying more on rescue if things don't work out?

Here is a relevant site that is tracking such things and the increase in SAR activities is interesting. As is the fact that the maritime world now far exceeds the aviation world in use of SAR.

SAR Statistics - International COSPAS-SARSAT

One can argue that the 121.5mhz bar needs to be stacked on the 406, but aside from 2008/9 the number of people rescued is steadily increasing.

Couple that with the fact that maritime SAR is usually long range, off-shore and costly one wonders when governments are going to get together and say, "Look the costs of picking up recreational boaters is increasing and alarming." Something must be done.

I challenge those who think, "I buy and EPIRB and sat phone, therefore I have done my part and I have rights to SAR at any cost."
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Old 10-07-2014, 17:22   #2
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

Personally I think it is the aging of the fleet and new people getting into boating that have little or no practical experience in refit or repair. They don't realize that a rudder shaft, for instance, can be rotten in a way that is not obvious. How many newbies buying a boat pull the floor boards and check the condition of the keel bolts. How many newbies know how to check chain plates or determine if the bulkhead that the chain plate is attached to is solid or rotten. How many check to ensure the tabbing of the bulkheads is sound, a difficult task when it is all hidden. They get a survey report and without crawling the bilges and poking into every nook and cranny themselves they snatch up a boat, sometimes from a distance, and set sail. It is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 10-07-2014, 17:28   #3
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

A myopic view.

One, the cost of rescuing is much smaller than the cost of not rescuing.

Two, the number of rescues has not increased, but the number of reports has.

Three, looking at one side of any ledger in isolation is a rather elementary error.

Present statistics, lose all credibility, like night following day.
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Old 10-07-2014, 17:41   #4
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

Your graph shows one year of significant increase. All the other years have been incremental. You would need a comparison in the number of boaters to draw any conclusions.

As for the comparison to aviation, I would think there are far more boats than planes out there, especially recreational boats to recreational planes.


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Old 10-07-2014, 17:46   #5
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
A myopic view.

One, the cost of rescuing is much smaller than the cost of not rescuing.

Two, the number of rescues has not increased, but the number of reports has.

Three, looking at one side of any ledger in isolation is a rather elementary error.

Present statistics, lose all credibility, like night following day.
Jammer - I am wiling to look at any statistics you may want to produce. Anything else is just your opinion and unfounded.

I didn't make any conclusion I just posed some questions based on reliable data I found.

I am very thankful that the "western" society put up satellites and made rescuing of people easier - Life is worth preserving.

My concern is whether easy access to rescue makes us less prepared - "Look honey, this is no problem! See I have an EPIRB and it's bright orange! So if anything gets tough we will be rescued."

I know this is rhetorical but if there were no satellites and EPIRB, Would Mary agree to go, would Bob take Mary and would either of them take their kids?"
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Old 10-07-2014, 18:05   #6
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

What is the cost of not rescuing?

I would expect it to be zero, or perhaps you mean the loss to society of the brilliant minds that went to sea on an unsafe/ unprepared vessel?

I would think it's actually a big environmental savings as most yachts are scuttled when rescued or left adrift as ocean garbage. No doubt quite a few would eventually make port and not spill all the oil and debris and their superior gene pool would also continue.
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Old 10-07-2014, 18:09   #7
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

It's not a bad place to spend all my tax dollars on. I'm relaxed about it.

Better then say military adventures etc , curtailing those would pay for one heap of Rescues.

Good to see high tech saving people ......


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Old 10-07-2014, 18:10   #8
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

Chuck Yeager, military test pilot, was asked how he survived all his time there. He said he made sure he knew his systems. Know the systems on your boat and their condition.
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Old 10-07-2014, 18:30   #9
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Jammer - I am wiling to look at any statistics you may want to produce.
Oh, man, did you miss that point.
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:03   #10
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Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

Personally, and I'm involved in SAR. I think Ex-Calif is on the wrong track. The cost of SAR is not in itself an issue. What governments are reviewing is the lack of mandatory competency training. This is reflected in the large amounts of rescues close inshore involving fast craft and PWCs etc.

I suspect in time, given the increasing number of watercraft about, we will see a gradual introduction of competency certification and training around the main leisure boating areas of the world. The so called freedoms we enjoy today will be " changed" as a result

As one who used not to be in favour of such mandatory training , I now hold the opposite view and such training nerds to be graduated according to ones offshore desires


The other thing and this is clear from your pie chart , is the rise of non marine PLB based rescues. A few years ago virtually all Epirbs alerts were marine , today that is clearly less so. The issue is not whole at boaters doorstep
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:15   #11
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

maybe it is because people are MORE prepared and have equipped themselves with EPIRB and sat phone
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:22   #12
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Personally, and I'm involved in SAR. I think Ex-Calif is on the wrong track. The cost of SAR is not in itself an issue. What governments are reviewing is the lack of mandatory competency training. This is reflected in the large amounts of rescues close inshore involving fast craft and PWCs etc.

I suspect in time, given the increasing number of watercraft about, we will see a gradual introduction of competency certification and training around the main leisure boating areas of the world. The so called freedoms we enjoy today will be " changed" as a result

As one who used not to be in favour of such mandatory training , I now hold the opposite view and such training nerds to be graduated according to ones offshore desires


The other thing and this is clear from your pie chart , is the rise of non marine PLB based rescues. A few years ago virtually all Epirbs alerts were marine , today that is clearly less so. The issue is not whole at boaters doorstep
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I agree wholeheartedly. I am not so much concerned about cost as frequency as well.

Aussie's and Kiwis have certification requirements to go "off-shore" from their waters for their citizens.

Americans sort of display this, "Stay out of my face" attitude which, while rightfully founded in "freedoms" and non-governmental interference, often get interpreted as, "I have the money so I should be able to take on any adventure I want."

More (developed) countries than not have licensing and certification requirements for boating.

Once governments connect "Safety at sea is not simply whether one can access SAR, but also includes is one prepared for the voyage?" we will see government intervention.

It is the perceived transfer of risk and responsibility that alarms me.

In thread after thread here newbies ask, "What boat is safe?" - In thread after thread the experienced guys say, "It's about the sailor and seamanship."

And seamanship includes the ability to evaluate the boat's suitability for purpose - i.e. if you don't know whether boat is safe or not, you are not ready to go.
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:31   #13
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Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I agree wholeheartedly. I am not so much concerned about cost as frequency as well.



Aussie's and Kiwis have certification requirements to go "off-shore" from their waters for their citizens.



Americans sort of display this, "Stay out of my face" attitude which, while rightfully founded in "freedoms" and non-governmental interference, often get interpreted as, "I have the money so I should be able to take on any adventure I want."



More (developed) countries than not have licensing and certification requirements for boating.



Once governments connect "Safety at sea is not simply whether one can access SAR, but also includes is one prepared for the voyage?" we will see government intervention.



It is the perceived transfer of risk and responsibility that alarms me.



In thread after thread here newbies ask, "What boat is safe?" - In thread after thread the experienced guys say, "It's about the sailor and seamanship."



And seamanship includes the ability to evaluate the boat's suitability for purpose - i.e. if you don't know whether boat is safe or not, you are not ready to go.

Absolutely spot on. Especially the newbie focus on "a boat that an idiot will survive in " rather then educating the idiot

Interesting what is driving certification is not the blue water sailor, this is seen as a very small minority of people and a very small proportion of SAR activity. The main issue is the idiot factor inshore , ie within 50 miles. People running out of fuel , no charts , no nav knowledge , no basic boat skills. This is what focuses government SAR committees.

Dave.


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Old 10-07-2014, 19:34   #14
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

First, just to say it's worth it, but also I'm not sure that there are more people taking unreasonable chances, but just more being rescued.

That said, however....

Internet. Sites like this one.

The vast majority of the advice is good, is cautious, and encourages people to venture out only after truly preparing. However, there is also a cowboy mentality where I've seen comments many times advising against waiting, saying do it now to people who are ill prepared. They also read stories of others just as poorly prepared when they ventured out. They don't read stories written by those who failed and even died in the process. They are told of the small single handed boats that circumnavigated. They are encouraged to cross oceans.

It's my personal opinion the SAR doesn't make them more likely to venture out. Just they find themselves filled with a quest for adventure without fully considering all they need to. Again, the vast majority encourage good habits, safe boating and sailing and proper training. But sometimes those aren't the ones heard by the person who later requires rescue. They hear "it's possible" or "you can" and don't hear "I wouldn't advise."
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Old 10-07-2014, 19:34   #15
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Re: Alarming Increase in SAR rates?

While the costs are going up, seems like any SAR event should create an immediate copyright of the rescue and events leading to the rescue.

The intent of the copyright is that anyone rescued who writes a book, litigates or in any manner recieves financial compensation must pay 90% of the settlement to the rescuing agency.
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