When we've done it, they were glad to see us, and I'm sure I would be, too. But, I'm an old school
old gal, and there were no EPIRBs yet, people did not expect ever to have a button to push, so the only available help came via HF radio
, or VHF
, if you were close, or visual, and one expected to save oneself. The fishing
boat to whose aid we went was a recently launched one that was unable to start their engine
, and had an electrical
problem and could not use their radio
. Our only assistance, once we got back upwind to offer it, was to make radio
contact with a mate of theirs to organize a real rescue
The other time, we were asked by the local authorities to go to the rescue
of a brigantine that was taking on water
. By the time we got there, the weather
had eased, and their pumps had pumped it out, so no assistance needed.
The time we sailed in company with our friends with the damaged rudder
, it was a real drag, slowing down our boat to not sneak away from them, and yet we were glad to do it.
When we were dismasted close enough to land that we had enough fuel
in, I don't think I have words to describe how very much it mattered to get ourselves in to safety
on our own.
I guess I wasn't really clear about what I said about group sailing. If you're talking daysails, it's a lot easier to stay together than on ocean crossings. Also, on ocean crossings, it can be very difficult to get back to someone to offer aid. Hard on the wind
in the open ocean in 35 knots or better is not my idea of fun--ymmv. In those, or stronger conditions, acting to go upwind to help someone can damage the boat, and is a real act of kindness. I expect, these days, that the vessel in question might more likely set off an EPIRB
than ask a friend to come back and help. Perhaps I am wrong in this. Certainly, some friends would do it unasked.