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Old 13-11-2007, 06:32   #16
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hellosailor,

I remembered the Coyote incident, but did have to dig for details. It was 1992, Mike Plant set off for France Oct 16 and was reported overdue Nov 6. The air and sea search was called off Nov 18 after 200,000 sq miles was searched by USN, USCG and CCG. Coyote was spotted by a passing tanker 4 days later. If they were able to find Coyote with satellite, they could have directed the air search to the right area without divulging their satellite capabilities, since the military did the search. It just shows, that if the boat isn't where it should be, then you won't find it, whether you're using satellites or eyeballs.

Kevin
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Old 13-11-2007, 10:02   #17
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I don't think us civilians have enough facts to definitively say if the military is capable of finding a boat in near real time or if the military has the human resources to do this or if the decision makers in the military have the authority to do this. Since it is all classified, the best we can do is speculate. I would not get upset at the military since we don't really know the reality of the military's situation.

It though seems if technically possible, to launch a satellite or series of SAR satellites specifically designed for the task. This may be cheaper and safer than launching land based resources to find those in distress.

But then, what the heck do we have EPIRB's for?
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Old 13-11-2007, 12:03   #18
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I don't think us civilians have enough facts to definitively say if the military is capable of finding a boat in near real time or if the military has the human resources to do this or if the decision makers in the military have the authority to do this. Since it is all classified, the best we can do is speculate. I would not get upset at the military since we don't really know the reality of the military's situation.

It though seems if technically possible, to launch a satellite or series of SAR satellites specifically designed for the task. This may be cheaper and safer than launching land based resources to find those in distress.

But then, what the heck do we have EPIRB's for?
This discussion is forgetting all about taking responsibilty for ones own actions.

Open Ocean sailing is a dangerous activity. It's a "Sport" if you will. When one engages in a dangerous sport and gets hurt doing so, how is it the government's responsibilty to bail that person out?

I'm sorry, this may be an un-popular position but every person that goes to sea, KNOWS the enherint risk. In the early 80's we had the advent of Satellite Navigation. With the elimination of the need to know celestial navigation came an onslaught of new cruisers. Then came the EPIRB. The 1st ones were OK but didn't really give a person a real level of safety and therefore made little difference in the attitude of cruisers.

Then came the later EPIRBs that would actually link with satellites from anywhere in the world and transmit the vessels ID and location. Everything changed after that. We saw an entire new breed of cruising people that didn't seem to have the same level of self-reliance and capabilities of the cruisers from before. I feel that some people think that the purchase of an EPIRB gives them some "Right" to a free rescue and that rescue is guranteed and an obligation of the gvnmt. Where did that thinking come from? It is not the sollution to a problem. It is the source of a bigger problem.

All of a sudden, open ocean sailing seemed to transform from an extreme sport to a "Normal" mode of transportation from one place to another. People seem to have the idea that because they own an EPIRB, that obligates someone else to come get them if they get in trouble.

The fact is, if you go out there, you'd darn-well better know how to get yourself back. If you go out there thinking that someone else is going to come get you in the event of a catastrophe, you may be in for a shock. Catastrophes will surely increase and deaths to rescuers have already increased. How does anyone have the right to go to sea with the knowledge that they could possibly be endangering other people's lives and the intent to do so in some rather un-extraordinary circumstances.

I have seen people be taken off of perfectly good boats, simply because they panicked and the EPIRB was an easy way out. I have also seen people get themselves to shore in sinking, broken boats that would shake the resolve of even the hardest sailor.

The reason that I bring this up, in this thread is, can you imagine if the military is now obligated to perform search and rescue for every vessel that sets off an EPIRB????? The financial implications of that are huge. I still question that it would ever be possible to spot a small boat in the open ocean and be able to distinguish it from a white-cap on the sea. However, even if it could be done, the resources involved would be huge and amount of incidents would be ever-increasing and the number of rescuers deaths would continue to climb.

What would you think about cruising vessels having to pay the expense of their own rescue? That tends to put a whole new spin on things. Having the military use satellites for search and rescue could literally cost tens of millions of dollars. I'm not putting a $ value on human life here. I'm just asking a question.....who should be held accountable for that expense? Should cruising vessels be required to have "Search & Rescue Insuranse"?

Where do you think this is all leading??? Is it the inevitable death of cruising due to costs or is it going to go to personal accountability?
Tax payers will only put up with so much of this stuff. At some point, the non-boating public (about 95% of the population) will demand some sort of accountability if costs continue to rise at the rate that they have been (both in $ and loss of life). That I can assure you.
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Old 13-11-2007, 14:24   #19
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” This discussion is forgetting all about taking responsibilty for ones own actions.…
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Originally Posted by Kanani
…What would you think about cruising vessels having to pay the expense of their own rescue? That tends to put a whole new spin on things …”
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” Or we cruisers could take a little responsibility for our own safety, and utilize the existing capabilities of the SARSAT “EPIRB” units, readily available, and effective….”


Whilst I agree with your opening statement, I’m much less certain of the merits of the (implied) position underlying the quoted question.

Should victims of hard-side crime pay for 911 police response, or highway accident victims for Fire Department (rescue) response, etc?

Civil societies undertake certain responsibilities (national defence, policing/public safety, education, health, etc) in common, for the common good (commonwealth). Generally, the more civilized the society, the broader the definition of commonwealth.

I don’t post a bond, nor pay a fee, when the Fire Department rescues me from my wrecked car. I do pay the towing fees to remove my car from the highway.
This seems about right, to me.

Of course, I enjoy the benefits of civilization; and expect to pay (my share) for them.
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Old 13-11-2007, 16:59   #20
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[font=Arial]Whilst I agree with your opening statement, I’m much less certain of the merits of the (implied) position underlying the quoted question.

Should victims of hard-side crime pay for 911 police response, or highway accident victims for Fire Department (rescue) response, etc?

Civil societies undertake certain responsibilities (national defence, policing/public safety, education, health, etc) in common, for the common good (commonwealth). Generally, the more civilized the society, the broader the definition of commonwealth.

I don’t post a bond, nor pay a fee, when the Fire Department rescues me from my wrecked car. I do pay the towing fees to remove my car from the highway.
This seems about right, to me.

Of course, I enjoy the benefits of civilization; and expect to pay (my share) for them.
I agree with the examples that you state. However, when it comes to "Extreme Sports" Mr Taxpayer is becoming less and less tollerant of having to pay for extreme situations that people "Knowingly" put themselves in.

The word "Knowingly" is the key here. Every single person that takes a sailboat off-shore knows the risks. The problem is, fewer and fewer are willing to except the consequences and get THEMSELVES to safety without involving costly and risky rescue attempts. The only confidence that some seem to have is the confidence that someone will come to their aid. I would venture to speculate that things might be quite different if the rescued party were required to foot the bill.

The examples that you sight are all unwitting cotastrophes that are beyond the control of that person involved. Also the people involved are not purposely and knowingly putting themselves at an above normal risk.

This new "Flee Danger" mentality really hit home when I was sailing from Fiji to New Zealand in June of 1994 (what was later named, "Queen's Birthday Storm").

I was about 200 miles out of Opua, NZ when the storm struck, it was sudden and unpredicted. I was listening to the daily "Keri-Keri Net" from NZ. As boats were checking in, there were reports of 60-70-kt winds and huge seas. The height of the storm had not reached me yet and I was having a hard time believing some of these reports. Everyone that reported in was obviously concerned but controlled and up to this point, one boat had been rolled but they were OK.

All of a sudden, a lady came on the net, screaming into the mic. Their boat had been rolled and her husband broke his hip. Within 30 minutes, 12 EPIRBs were activated (I found this out later). Hystaria seemed to set in and people were being taken off of their boats in record numbers. One container ship rescued the crews of 3 vessels, on his own. A French war ship took the crews of a couple other vessels and the NZ Coast Gaurd got choppers out to a few more. In all 8 boats were abandoned and 1 crew of one of the race boats was lost and the life-raft found empty (common story)..

Out of the 8 boats that were abandoned 1 sunk during the storm, 3 were scuttled but the remarkable thing is, the other 4 boats were eventually found, drifting or on the rocks (because it was un-manned).

Now, I am judging none of these people. I did not get the 100+kts of wind and 80 ft seas that were being reported by commercial ships and the NZ Coast Gaurd. I did lose my wind intruments in a 60kt+ gust. I don't know what I would have done but I would like to think that there is no-way in hell that I would have left my boat.

The one remarkable things that not many talk about is, there were 35 boats that were directly involved in the brunt of that storm (myself not included). 27 of those vessels made it to safe harbor. A lot of them had some pretty severe damage. A few of them had set off their EPIRB but had not been found and they made it in anyway.

A good friend of mine was rolled 3 times. Lost his mast and was injured. He didn't have an EPIRB or an HF radio. He was on his own. He had no idea that all of these other boats were in trouble. All he knew was that it was up to him to get himself to port and that he did. There were some pretty amazing, unsung heroes in that storm. Not much was ever heard from them.

The very next year, the NZ government took a very tuff stand on cruising yachts visiting NZ. The people of NZ were extremely upset at the cost of rescues of foreign vessels in their waters. It was said by some that NZ was leaning toward even tuffer tactics to discourage vessels from entering their waters. They wanted foreigners to pay for their own rescue costs. This tuff stand eventually crumbled but I dare say that the international community may soon take another look at this issue.

I can't say that I disagree. More and more people are cruising "Unprepared" IMO. I'm not talking about equipment either. I am talking about a mental attitude and self-reliant frame of mind. People buy all the goodies to get them out of trouble but they don't seem to be mentally or physically prepared to fend for themselves. They seem to expect others to fend for them but they don't seem to want to be accountable.

We have seen it more and more often where people are relying on EPIRBs and abandoning vessels that are capable of getting them to safe harbor. They don't know how to jeri-rigg their vessel and are not mentally prepared to spend the time and discomfort doing so. Rather than spend an extra 30 days at sea, making safe harbor, people seem to be opting for leaving their vessel at the cost of others. I just have a hard time with this growing trend.
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Old 13-11-2007, 18:06   #21
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I
to be accountable.

We have seen it more and more often where people are relying on EPIRBs and abandoning vessels that are capable of getting them to safe harbor. They don't know how to jeri-rigg their vessel and are not mentally prepared to spend the time and discomfort doing so. Rather than spend an extra 30 days at sea, making safe harbor, people seem to be opting for leaving their vessel at the cost of others. I just have a hard time with this growing trend.
I am ambivalent on the subject.

I know how to do a lot of mechanical type things and most people don't.

It makes me think of cars..........when they were still sort of new. One had to know how to jerry rig things to get themselves home. Being unprepared could put you in a position to have to handle "the elements". There got to be more and more of them and now we have AAA.

When I think about how many boats there are on the water now as compared to when I started sailing (and dreaming [sure wish I had taken the leap back then]) it seem to me not a whole lot different than cars. Now when on the water there are ways to get positions easier, weather information can be had and routes changed, there are more marinas and mechanics, more sail lofts, more ports, etc. None of this was available in the past..........so more people can go out in relative safety.

Relative is a term the reader of this must understand.

In todays auto travels and cruising travels things are changing.

Personally, I don't remember much about my sextant use and I always have had trouble with long formulae. I tend to add when I should subtract etc. Am I dumb and should not be allowed to play? I will use the latest gear I can afford and my abilities to their utmost too. I promise.

If I can't hack it and need to toss an EPIRB I will do it knowing that I have given up the fight.

Many would give up the fight sooner (because they are dumber than me?) but I can no longer be too sure where to draw the line. I get to go and play and you don't.

Who should go and who should not?

Who is to decide that?

It is all grey........there is no black and there is no white.

I just wish there were not so many others out there.............but wait...........that is how all this came about anyway.
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Old 13-11-2007, 19:24   #22
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For those enamored with what used to be one of the government's finest and most secret programs, you might wanna take a look at the latest and greatest debacle in the dumbing down of America and its government:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/wa...ite.html#step1

Take it from someone who's been there: it wasn't always this way.

B.
I worked on a contract for that program.

Give thanks to Hollywood for hyping up for the American public the capabilites of Military satellites.

I won't comment on most of the posts but some I did have to snicker at
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Old 13-11-2007, 20:07   #23
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I am ambivalent on the subject.

I know how to do a lot of mechanical type things and most people don't.

It makes me think of cars..........when they were still sort of new. One had to know how to jerry rig things to get themselves home. Being unprepared could put you in a position to have to handle "the elements". There got to be more and more of them and now we have AAA.

When I think about how many boats there are on the water now as compared to when I started sailing (and dreaming [sure wish I had taken the leap back then]) it seem to me not a whole lot different than cars. Now when on the water there are ways to get positions easier, weather information can be had and routes changed, there are more marinas and mechanics, more sail lofts, more ports, etc. None of this was available in the past..........so more people can go out in relative safety.

Relative is a term the reader of this must understand.

In todays auto travels and cruising travels things are changing.

Personally, I don't remember much about my sextant use and I always have had trouble with long formulae. I tend to add when I should subtract etc. Am I dumb and should not be allowed to play? I will use the latest gear I can afford and my abilities to their utmost too. I promise.

If I can't hack it and need to toss an EPIRB I will do it knowing that I have given up the fight.

Many would give up the fight sooner (because they are dumber than me?) but I can no longer be too sure where to draw the line. I get to go and play and you don't.

Who should go and who should not?

Who is to decide that?

It is all grey........there is no black and there is no white.

I just wish there were not so many others out there.............but wait...........that is how all this came about anyway.



Regarding AAA, it's a SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE not a taxpayer mandate.

If you have to call police because someone broke into your house in the middle of the night, it's almost never your fault, but if you sail away and have to "Call 911" with your EPIRB, it's YOUR fault for getting into trouble whatever the cause.

Where's the "grey"?

I went cruising offshore, but never called for assistance of any kind, and I rendered service several times to other cruisers as well as locals. As far as rescue is concerned, I'm all for demanding payment from anyone who needs to be saved whether plucked off a mountainside after extreme skiing, hiking, mountain climbing or a boat in a storm while sailing offshore.

Steve B.
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Old 13-11-2007, 21:13   #24
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Itemised bill...

So, if someone has to be rescued they get an itemised bill.

A lot of these bills could run to more than $1M without creative accounting.

Even a simple rescue could involve hundreds of people and many millions of dollars of fancy equipment. No more volunteer coastguard.

Now we add on a profit margin.

Not to mention insurance cover because they are now professional rescuers and they had better get it right.

And then who gets the job of collecting the money?
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Old 13-11-2007, 23:57   #25
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And then who gets the job of collecting the money?
At the increasing rate of emergencies being called/signaled in it's going to be the governments.

Either that or they're going to say; "If your not a citizen of our country, then your on your own!" The EPIRB's will be useless unless you pay an extra fee or are in your own territory.

It won't be long before it's going to peak. See link below......................_/)

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Old 14-11-2007, 02:49   #26
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Essential service...

I could find no reference to looming problems in delmarrey's link.

Search and rescue is an essential service and adventurous cruising sailors are not the only users.

Imagine the stink if a fully loaded A380 went down and search and rescue or EPIRBs had been downgraded and did not work properly.

The EPIRBs would seem to save time and money as searches can be carried out far more quickly and accurately than before.

Indeed the modern trend looks to be going the way of "we will do extensive searching if a properly registered EPIRB has been activated but otherwise..."

My planning includes having multiple EPIRBs purchased successivly as time and distance increase.
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Old 14-11-2007, 07:52   #27
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Regarding AAA, it's a SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE not a taxpayer mandate.

If you have to call police because someone broke into your house in the middle of the night, it's almost never your fault, but if you sail away and have to "Call 911" with your EPIRB, it's YOUR fault for getting into trouble whatever the cause.

Where's the "grey"?

I went cruising offshore, but never called for assistance of any kind, and I rendered service several times to other cruisers as well as locals. As far as rescue is concerned, I'm all for demanding payment from anyone who needs to be saved whether plucked off a mountainside after extreme skiing, hiking, mountain climbing or a boat in a storm while sailing offshore.

Steve B.
Substitute AAA for fire rescue.

I disagree. If you set off an EPIRB it is NOT necessarily your fault.

The grey.................is where the line is drawn on who is qualified to go and who is not.

Sailing offshore is no longer considered an "extreme" sport. Not without risk for sure, but about on par with driving to work.

IMO.
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Old 14-11-2007, 09:57   #28
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Substitute AAA for fire rescue.

I disagree. If you set off an EPIRB it is NOT necessarily your fault.

The grey.................is where the line is drawn on who is qualified to go and who is not.

Sailing offshore is no longer considered an "extreme" sport. Not without risk for sure, but about on par with driving to work.

IMO.
If a sailor is making an oceanic passage, he/she is doing so with full knowledge that they are putting themselves in an unusually high-risk situation. The mere fact that they have an EPIRB on board is a clear indication that the person is aware of this hightened risk. If that EPIRB is activated, it is activated by the user. It is the user's fault for being where he/she is and not being able to get themselves out of trouble. The source of the trouble does not matter. It is the intent and ability of the user that matters. This fact is born out by the fact that most open ocean rescues from sailboats are made from vessels that are still afloat. If a sailboat is still afloat, most skippers should be able to make it to shore with that vessel (of course, there are exeptions). It is merely more convenient and less painful to use the EPIRB.

I can't even believe that you made this statement, "Sailing offshore is no longer considered an "extreme" sport. Not without risk for sure, but about on par with driving to work.". I'll just refrain from commenting on it.

In no way am I suggesting that sailors should not carry an EPIRB on board. I am merely stating that there appears to be increased incidents of people activating their EPIRB in situations that (IMO) they could have gotten to safe harbor on their own. It appears that the EPIRB system is being used as an "Easy" ticket to safety. This mentallity will become an obsticle to every sailor that wants to make ocean passages at some point in time IMO.

I think that sooner or later, there may be a substancial fee to register an EPIRB. I just don't see any avoiding that if trends remain high. In that event, several sailors will leave port without that protection and sooner or later, someone will die because of the lack of that resourse.

IMO the sailing community are the ones that should be outraged every time that someone is rescued from a sailboat that is still floating and capable of making way, even if it means 30 days of sailing under jeri-rig. Every time that happens (and IMO, it is most of the time), it puts all of our safety in jeapordy.

It also increases the cost of cruising. In the '80s, I never heard of any country charging for a "Cruising Permit". Today, it seems to be common place. Why do you think that is? IMO, it's another tax that countries feel they need to levy for services rendered. Why is this happening?? IMO, it's because more and more sailors are getting themselves in trouble (due to their lack of "Self-Reliance") and causing expences to the host nation.

My real issue is not with EPIRBs or search and rescue. My issue is with the lack of respect that some sailors seem to have for the sea and the abilities that are required to be an ocean-navigator. That sorta brings me back to the "Extreme Sport" issue. Ask someone that has had to be rescued at sea or is a member of the Coast Guard Search-and-Rescue if open ocean sailing is an extreme sport.
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Old 14-11-2007, 11:50   #29
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Why it cant be done

I fully agree with GordMay’s assessment that we cruisers should take responsibility for our own safety. I have three EPIRPs on my ship and I ensure that they are always well maintained. There is also no question that Mr. Yarara left port at the wrong time of year in order to reach his destination and that he got bitch-slapped for his efforts.

He is now paying the price with a damaged main sail and an inoperable steering system. There are a lot of people probably worrying about him. Indirectly, his fate is also the subject of this thread.

It is further undeniably correct that technology exists to pick up the image of a yacht at sea if you know where it is, as Kanani has pointed out. Yet, the technology also exists which will positively identify any known object in a data stream, despite the size of the entire data package.

It is true that the ocean is “incomprehensively large and a yacht is so small”. Yet, it should be noted that what exemplifies those billions of breaking seas in an ocean is their regularity. That regularity and similarity is therefore predictable and, as such, mathematically recognizable +/- (for example) 3 %. The task is not looking through the entire data stream of “waves”, but to eliminating them, as waves, and to focus on the rest. Waves are natural occurrences. A yacht is a man-made object. It has borders and fixed dimensions. It is definitely not a wave. It is readily recognizable within a data stream as it does not fit the “definition” of a wave. The key word is “morphology” or “ the form or structure of anything”.

From a military standpoint, powerful software has been developed which can differentiate between “natural” surfaces and “man-made” surfaces. One purpose of the exercise is to positively locate “man-made” but camouflaged changes on the earth’s surface. The program identifies what has “changed” since the last fly-by, by intelligently recognizing (failed) attempts at maintaining a “natural surface”, in order to hide military ordnance hidden beneath the camouflage. The key is being able to differentiate between “natural” and “man-made” changes.

If the above can be successfully done on solid terrain, which is highly irregular be definition, one can assume that it would be somewhat easier on the surface of the ocean with it’s more regular characteristics. Going through the data streams is carried out by computers - something they do quite well. They eliminate and compare - humans only analyse the small part of the data of interest which remains.

One should also bear in mind that there is more than visible light imagery being collected. Every object, even in the water, leaves a thermal signature. These can be picked up. Radar images pick up the “ping” which comes back when a solid object reflects it. These images can be combined and superimposed over each other as well.

So tell me it can’t be done.

Of course, if the data isn’t there in the first place, then there is nothing that can be analysed. It will always depend on the satellite, the resolution, the type and density of the data and the intelligence of the people evaluating it. And the availability of that data, which we have paid for.

The Coyote incident took place more than 15 years ago. Anyone care to tell me by how much computing power has improved since then? And even if the computing power could not be made available by the military or the USCG, do you know what would be possible if the computing power of the entire cruising community was harnessed collectively to evaluate those data streams, not unlike the SETI@home project? Why are we not thinking on this level?

Frankly, I’m surprised by the number of “it can’t be done” responses. Everything “is hopeless”. There are “no solutions”. What kind of an attitude is that? I suppose that this is the difference between owning/running a company and working for one. Or being a professional dog walker.

To be honest, I don’t want to hear why it can’t be done. I’m interested in how it CAN be done. All the more if those are MY loved ones on the missing or overdue vessel.

And if YOU go missing, I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
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Old 14-11-2007, 12:49   #30
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"It is the user's fault for being where he/she is and not being able to get themselves out of trouble. ""

"Fault" might be a bit judgemental. The user made a choice to be out there (or at least, "out there" beyond their own bed on land) but after that, sometimes you have to consider the ancient saying "**** happens". Phrased in many ways by many organizations over the years, but I think the sailor's version is about the most succinct of them.

EPIRBs only work because a society (in fact, several societies) have voted to fund the entire system. SAR/SAT is a choice, and the various "public"s and governments have decided that it is a good thing to have around.

Whether that is for one sailor and a ridiculous cost, or one Airbus, which we can and will always blame on French engineering. (Doesn't matter that Airbus is a consortium, we'll blame it on the French.[g])

"I’m interested in how it CAN be done."
Ah, that's simple. There's a lot of declassified and obsolete information floating around, most of it about as unknown (but available) to the general public as the answer to "How do sailboats work?"

Back in the 60's/70's companies like Hughes were openly advertising for employees to come work on programs like computer optical target scanning and recogition, which were a part of the cruise missile programs among other things. (There are missiles that literally "look" at the terrain to see where they are, relying on no external mapping, no GPS, and backing up their own inertial nav systems.

Old hat. IIRC, The same way the NSA was discovered when someone looking to rent mainframe time on a Cray asked why there were 16 serial numbers but only 13 machines selling spare time. (The NSA were the only folks rich enough to own three Crays and not need to rent them out in their downtime.)

The military still rely on human analysts for remote sensing (photo interpretation) but using computers to scan, classify, and sort images is also done in fields like archaeology and IBM has even bragged about some of their civilian programming/applications of that sort. If the military wasn't using massive computer power for at least the initial pre-scanning of images...lots of geeks in uniform would make it happen. Computers are just too good at distinguishing pixels, and even the humdrum effects in PhotoShop and other consumer software today trickled down from JPL and NASA and other government programs--not all military. Heck, I can buy a Sony digicam with "face recognition" which will recognize a face in a picture and track the exposure and focus based on it.

What I'm saying is, the physical task of scanning images and saying "Is this ocean empty? Or maybe not?" is old hat. You don't have to "make it happen" on the technical level. All you need to "make it happen" is:

1-Authorize the use
2-FUND IT.

Or, use the civilian resources (as were used to look for Steve Fossett) and again, simply FUND IT.

How to make that happen? Well...blackmail a few CongressCritters into allocating funds or something, because I don't think a petition campaign is going to pry the dollars free for it, when they won't even give the USCG money for basic personnel and equipment. The USCG, like a lot of the military, routinely takes "operational" equipment offline and cannibalizes it in order to keep other units running. Resulting in shortages of real operational equipment when it is needed. (One of the air/sea rescue articles on EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE - Outdoors Gear, Survival Equipment Review & Survival Information details how this almost caused a SAR failure for two pilots in the Pacific, this is not speculation or rumour.)

If I go missing...it was my choice to be out there, my choice to be too lazy--or to write to Congress and ask for funds. And also my choice to accept the risks and the SAR capabilities that do or don't exist.

Choice, yes. Freedom, yes. Fault? **** happens. The mythological "prudent mariner" deals with it as best they can.

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