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Old 06-07-2008, 11:38   #31
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Gord, you have a way with words.<G>

I got my information the old fashioned way, from the USCG protests when Governor's Island was being shut down, and earlier from when Floyd Bennett Field was being cut out.

For extra credit, readers are invited to look up the flight duration and range of those helos, and then plot a circle on the map Gord found. Those assets can go out and back--but they can't stay on station in bad wx to conduct operations for very long. They are, literally, stretched to the limits in every way.

There's a similar comment in one of the air sea rescue descriptions on EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE - Outdoors Gear, Survival Equipment Review & Survival Information where the USCG almost had to deny response to a private aircraft down in the Pacific, because they had no available aircraft. Aircraft have to go out for routine maintenance, and if you have "just enough" sooner or later you have none available to respond. You can't just "close the hood" and send 'em out of the hangar.
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Old 06-07-2008, 15:25   #32
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What is it with some.

It has nothing to do with that. It is your congressmen that hold the purse strings.

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Well, it seems to me if we can prosecute a questionable war to the tune of $3 billion dollars a week we can find a few dollars to rescue people off our shores.

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Old 06-07-2008, 15:43   #33
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Well, yes, but it's not quite as easy as all that.

For many, many years the USCG has been underfunded...starved, actually...to the point that some years they couldn't do routine patrols on inland waters because they didn't have enough budget for fuel.

While it's true that the Congress votes the money, it's up to the Administration to put forward and defend the budget. Previous Administrations -- both Democrats and Republicans -- have done a great job of starving the Coast Guard in their budgets submitted to the Congress.

And, of course, it's up to the Coast Guard itself -- like all operating parts of the Government -- to draw up a reasonable budget setting forth their needs each year. Arguably, they've done a piss poor job of making their demands adequately known.

Truth is, the Coast Guard draws very little political attention...it's not very high on the list of priorities.

Until a few years ago. Some bright folks decided that the Coast Guard really needed a lot of new gear and funding, and they concluded quite reasonably that in order to get the attention of the Congress they needed to submit a really big budget. A figure large enough to gain some notice.

They did so, putting forward as their centerpiece a new 20-year project called "Deepwater", which involved a complete re-vamping of their assets. New ship construction, rennovations, etc. It did in fact get the attention of the Congress, and in the post-911 era it got funded, too, since it was linked to Homeland Security.

Finally, finally, the Coast Guard got the attention and budget it needed. Unfortunately, they made a real mess of the Deepwater Project, farming out contracting, design, oversight, and construction to several large defense contractors.

Talk about foxes in the hen house! Disaster followed disaster, and the program was halted. Not sure of it's current status, but the Coast Guard still has some serious pink elephants to deal with (like the 20 or so ships which were "lengthened" and refurbished, and which are unsuitable even for river patrols due to their unsafe condition).

The poor Coast Guard couldn't win for winning.

Other than that, though, they do an incredibly good job on average, and we're damned lucky to have them around.

Bill
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Old 06-07-2008, 19:39   #34
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One of these days, I am going to tell the story of (at the time) the longest USCG Helo Rescue. I had personal expeience with all involved.

There are/were some good lessons to be learned from that.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:28   #35
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One of these days, I am going to tell the story of (at the time) the longest USCG Helo Rescue. I had personal expeience with all involved.
There are/were some good lessons to be learned from that.
Are you referring to this past winter’s sinking of the “Alaska Ranger” in the Aleutians?
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Old 07-07-2008, 17:49   #36
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No I am not.
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Old 05-03-2009, 15:03   #37
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I know this is an old thread but just in case here's what the horse says. "Title 46 US Code, sec. 2110) (5) The Secretary may not collect a fee or charge under this subsection for any search or rescue service." Here's the link to the full section of the US Code 46 USC 2110 - US Code - Title 46: Shipping - 46 USC 2110 - Sec. 2110. Fees - vLex The secretary they are referring to is the Secretary of the Department under which the US Coast Guard is operating, right now the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In reality the authority is delegated by the Secretary to the Commandant of the US Coast Guard.
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Old 05-03-2009, 16:18   #38
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Hmm...let's see.

You fall asleep in your easy chair, your lighted cigarette falls to the carpet and starts a house fire.

Should you pay for the fire department's response? Should you pay for the rescue service ambulance and services to resuscitate you and get your sorry a__ to the hospital?

Should you pay for the police department call to your house for a false house alarm?

All governments in civilized countries provide a modicum of "free" services covering emergencies, even those caused by thoughtless individuals. That's what governments are all about...they're there to serve and to protect the public. Perhaps that's an antiquated idea, and we've surely lost sight of that in this country since the Reagan pronouncement that the "last thing you want to hear is, Hi, I'm from the government".

IMHO, the Coast Guard should continue to provide rescue services for both U.S. citizens and others off its shores, within reason, and without specific charge. As others point out, it's good practice. And, based on their record, they're damned good at it.

And the cost? A miniscule fraction of the money we waste on other frivolous and ill-considered activities.

Bill
Absolutely you should pay IF the cause was clear negligence. Why should responsible folks have to pay higher taxes to fund rescueing the numb nuts of the world. Costs of services should be born by those who use them. I bet folks would be a tad more careful and responsible if they got a bill, "for saving my dumbass".

The CG will one day ask" MC or VISA" before rescue if enough folks go out and require their services. There ain't no free lunch. Someone has top pay for all the gov't services. And I sure as hell don't like paying ever increasing taxes so the CG or fire dept or whatever can be available to go rescue some dumbass who thinks that by Googling "Sailing to Hawaii" you can get an idea of the conditions to expect. That last is a true statement from a real lfe dumbass.
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Old 05-03-2009, 17:20   #39
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Hmm...let's see.

You fall asleep in your easy chair, your lighted cigarette falls to the carpet and starts a house fire.

Should you pay for the fire department's response?
I should not be billed for it because I already pay for this service through taxation.

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should you pay for the rescue service ambulance and services to resuscitate you and get your sorry a__ to the hospital?
I should be billed for the ambulance and any hospital services, since I did not pay for these services through my taxation. I did however, pay insurance premiums, so my insurance company should pay this less any deductible and co-insurance.

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should you pay for the police department call to your house for a false house alarm?
I don't have a house alarm, so that's not possible. In some cases, I feel this should be provided by the home security system, bug generally speaking I feel police responses to possible home invasions are something we pay for through our taxes, false or not. To relate this to a later point, there are probably far fewer false calls about vessels in distress.

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, the Coast Guard should continue to provide rescue services for both U.S. citizens and others off its shores, within reason, and without specific charge. As others point out, it's good practice. And, based on their record, they're damned good at it.

And the cost? A miniscule fraction of the money we waste on other frivolous and ill-considered activities.

Bill
I agree. I don't feel rescue services should stop just because the land stops. I also believe we have signed international agreements to this affect. (It's a big problem for countries like New Zealand that are responsible for a larger area of ocean, but have a small tax base to support that service. Some may remember the big life raft controversy several years ago that resulted) I also feel most boaters will not call the coast guard until such time they are really needed. The resources spent on rescue are only a small fraction of their operational budget. It makes sense to pool the resources they have for multiple uses instead of creating additional entities with duplicate resources.
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Old 05-03-2009, 18:24   #40
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"Should you pay for the fire department's response? "
Ah, let's go back 200 years. You not only "should" pay for the response, but if you didn't have a private fire insurance contract with a fire company, you got to stand around and watch competing companies loot your house while holding an auction for their services.
And after the fire spread to the neighboring houses, they would ask for bids on their services from the neighbors, too.

The ONLY reason that we have free municipal fire companies in many cities, is that the city decided that careless fools were burning down too many of their neighbors and that it would be a good idea to simply stop fires, before they spread. London, Chicago, Rome, New York (twice) all substantially BURNT DOWN and many changes resulted from the citywide fires.

Very different from the situation where some fool goes out in a boat and drowns himself--but can't take ten thousand neighbors down with him.

The growing trend--and IMO a very logical one--is to perform the rescue, but afterwards to ask "Did this happen because they were negligent?" and if the answer is yes, by all means, bill 'em for the rescue. Fair's fair, most of us won't pay for the actions of the fool next door. Not without a protest.
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Old 05-03-2009, 18:40   #41
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The Coasties have that option. If it is a legitimate rescue then they probably won't charge you. If you called in a false distress, then they will charge you money and criminally prosecute you as well.
It seems the best idea so far. If you had to pay the full cost - you couldn't afford it. Chile wants I think a 2 million dollar policy to round Cape Horn. How do you put a price on scrambling a military outfit? Who could do that?

It's a lot easier to judge after the fact. We get into it a lot here but it's not what we are attempting to do at CF. It's not a fair deal to say other people get to say if - let alone how much you should pay. If discussions about specific incidents go there we here at CF will close them.

If governments choose to assess costs then it has the right to try to do so.
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Old 05-03-2009, 19:03   #42
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I hate insurance and the companies.
That said i also have some health boat home.
The one claim i have had on the home side The company was far from on my side. Although I was on the roof nailing down tarp during a storm to limit the damage the response sucked was more expensive then it should have been and after months of asking for reasonable assistance was barely adequate. I would have done better to invest in a failing company and paid off with the dividends. Blue cross health I have and few providers accept them and more leaving the plan. sometimes they send me checks sometimes most times bills I don't understand. I think they can stuff it too. I am sure my boat insurance would be a joy to deal with If a claim arose. My yard requires it so I bleed the cash. THe best thing we could all do is tell the Insurance companies to stuff it and be responsable if someone needs help get involved and do everything you can to avoid a claim. screw mandatory insurance and Thank you coasties I will not call you until the sitaution is beyond my control and lives are at risk.
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Old 05-03-2009, 19:17   #43
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"Chile wants I think a 2 million dollar policy to round Cape Horn. "
How do you mean, Paul? Isn't Chile a UN member and a signatory of the Law of the Seas ? Do they contest a vessel's right to passage in international waters? Even if claim exclusive territorial waters for 200 miles off the Cape, aren't vessels allowed to transit them by international treaty & law?
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Old 05-03-2009, 21:43   #44
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You can be detained should you land in Chile before making the transit. They don't come after you out in international waters, but they can keep you from leaving a port in Chile if they feel that is where you are going. There are a few threads about this here.
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Old 07-03-2009, 23:47   #45
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Search and rescue doesn't stop at the end of a nation's waters. Most maritime nations participate in the international search and rescue plan. The USCG operates a computerized service called AMVER Amver.com - Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System - Home ( its been around since the 50's). Merchant vessel of all maritime nations voluntarily send notices to AMVER just like a flight plan. If someone is in distress AMVER can alert the nearest ship anywhere in the world. Also there is a set of satellites that monitor distress frequencies world wide. Some were put up by the US, and some by the old Soviet Union. But they all work together. All maritime nations work together to make SAR as effective as possible. There have been some pretty dramatic rescues in some very remote places, like Antartica or the middle of the Pacific. The plane sent to find you could be US, British, Japanese, any one of many nations, and the rescuers could be from any maritime nation. And the aircraft won't necessarily be Coast Guard or it's equivalent. Most of the maritime nation's military aircraft will do a search. It all depends on the nearest available resource. This is one of the few areas where international agreements actually work. So as I said. It doesn't stop at the 3 mile limit.
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