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Old 05-08-2015, 10:29   #31
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

I think you made the right call. As others have said even if you did not make a direct attempt to hail on radio, if he had his on he should have overheard the call to CG and said "wait a second that sounds like me".

Your call was correct, it is up to the coast guard to determine response, not you.


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Old 05-08-2015, 10:50   #32
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
My observation was accurate. When you sign a post USCG Ship Inspector you are making a very bold claim that could easily influence less knowledgeable persons. I thought it reasonable to share that your inspection activities are not in the field of navigation safety or search and rescue, and in fact were coming from a recreational boater who happens to be an electrical inspector as well.

I didn't intend to troll you, bold statements may earn you bold responses.

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Regardless of intent, you are wrong and this discussion is over, as it is not on thread. You assume the basic certification was the entire scope of work. It was not. -just as a submarine electrician holds over 100 shipboard qualifications. If you assumed 'just an S/S electrician', again, wrong. As a USCG/USN ship inspector, I've inspected cruise ship piloting out of difficult-approach islands such as Bermuda, where you shoot the azimuth 2 miles out or run 1,083 foot liner up on the jetty on the way out. My time on the pond is extensive. In 50 years I've been aboard 5 boats taking on water and sinking or partially sinking. On two occasions emergency services arrived w/o my calling or need. Water emergencies should be 'confirmation of a life or death situation', not casual encounters in strong conditions. Regardless, you've made up your mind to troll this thread about me not the issue, so I'll take the high road and bow out, since it's about calling the CG and the proper threshold, not that you have no idea what my personal career has encompassed. Fair winds and following seas, friend.... Go judge someone else. We're done here.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:08   #33
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

Thank you for instructing me on the very real risks the front line search and rescue personnel under take. I have even more respect for them now then I already had.






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Old 05-08-2015, 15:11   #34
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

To the OP, I had a very similar experience to what you described. I was walking on a local beach with my son in his stroller early in the morning. I saw about a 30 ft power boat at anchor about 400' from shore. There was a strong onshore breeze with maybe 1.5 meter beach breaking seas. I so no sign of life on board. I called the CG on my cell phone because the situation just seemed wrong. It was Sunday morning, my concern was that somebody may have attempted to swim or dinghy back to the boat and not made it after visiting a beach bar the night before. The RCC operator was very calm and very polite. He asked me exactly what I saw and why I was concerned. They asked me if I would mind waiting on the beach with my cell phone on so I could provide direction to the CG crew when they arrived.

About a half hour later the crew arrived in their RIB. They circled the boat, blew their horn, used their loud hailers but didn't risk a boarding due to sea state.

The CG crew as well as the RCC operator made their own risk assessments. All I did was observe and report, which is what it sounds like you did.

Nobody put their lives at risk, the cost to the CG was fuel that they would have used bombing around "training" any way. It was between 8 and 4, no overtime was incurred.

When people quote the high cost of SAR, they often overlook the fact that the very large cost of maintaining a SAR station is a fixed cost. Its there whether the assets are utilised or not.

Both RCC operators and SAR captains are more than capable of prioritising calls, they won't go out to check out an unusual situation if a baby is drowning and their response times are probably better if they are geared up and already on the water.

How many times have you seen Safe Boats out cruising around with machine guns with no other purpose than to show the flag?

I'm not saying that you should call because of every little thing, but if you are a reasonable person, and it sounds like you are, you have a legitimate concern, there is no harm in making a call and reporting exactly what you see.

You might save some bodies life which is good for your soul, and the SAR boys will be much happier to intervene early rather than wait until its too late if a real problem exists, which is good for their souls too.

I say good on you for caring enough to make the call even though it turned out to be a false alarm.

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Old 05-08-2015, 20:35   #35
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

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Originally Posted by dbeausoleil View Post
Regardless of intent, you are wrong and this discussion is over, as it is not on thread. You assume the basic certification was the entire scope of work. It was not. -just as a submarine electrician holds over 100 shipboard qualifications. If you assumed 'just an S/S electrician', again, wrong. As a USCG/USN ship inspector, I've inspected cruise ship piloting out of difficult-approach islands such as Bermuda, where you shoot the azimuth 2 miles out or run 1,083 foot liner up on the jetty on the way out. My time on the pond is extensive. In 50 years I've been aboard 5 boats taking on water and sinking or partially sinking. On two occasions emergency services arrived w/o my calling or need. Water emergencies should be 'confirmation of a life or death situation', not casual encounters in strong conditions. Regardless, you've made up your mind to troll this thread about me not the issue, so I'll take the high road and bow out, since it's about calling the CG and the proper threshold, not that you have no idea what my personal career has encompassed. Fair winds and following seas, friend.... Go judge someone else. We're done here.
No

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Old 05-08-2015, 21:55   #36
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

Friends, we are not here to judge anyone's qualifications here. We are here to determine if and when we should call the Coast Guard. Having a bit of experience with the Coast Guard, in a number of positions, including a number of rescues, It is my opinion that if you feel a boat or people are in trouble, it is better to call the Coast Guard so they can get a boat or plane underway. We can not save lives or boats, tied to the ground, or a dock. Also it is a lot easier on all concerned if we can get to the emergency be fore the weather turns nasty. So I say again, do not hesitate about making that call.
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Old 05-08-2015, 22:21   #37
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Similar situation years ago. Came upon a small sail boat hove-to in moderately heavy conditions. No one visible aboard. Hailed them...turned out they were "busy" down below...another good reason to know how to heave-to...just in case you have an offshore "emergency". ;-)
Now why has no one ever brought up a story like that in any of the threads from a couple months back about whether heaving to is a useful tactic.... Would have settled the debate pretty quickly that way...
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:30   #38
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
To the OP, I had a very similar experience to what you described. I was walking on a local beach with my son in his stroller early in the morning. I saw about a 30 ft power boat at anchor about 400' from shore. There was a strong onshore breeze with maybe 1.5 meter beach breaking seas. I so no sign of life on board. I called the CG on my cell phone because the situation just seemed wrong. It was Sunday morning, my concern was that somebody may have attempted to swim or dinghy back to the boat and not made it after visiting a beach bar the night before. The RCC operator was very calm and very polite. He asked me exactly what I saw and why I was concerned. They asked me if I would mind waiting on the beach with my cell phone on so I could provide direction to the CG crew when they arrived.

About a half hour later the crew arrived in their RIB. They circled the boat, blew their horn, used their loud hailers but didn't risk a boarding due to sea state.

The CG crew as well as the RCC operator made their own risk assessments. All I did was observe and report, which is what it sounds like you did.

Nobody put their lives at risk, the cost to the CG was fuel that they would have used bombing around "training" any way. It was between 8 and 4, no overtime was incurred.

When people quote the high cost of SAR, they often overlook the fact that the very large cost of maintaining a SAR station is a fixed cost. Its there whether the assets are utilised or not.

Both RCC operators and SAR captains are more than capable of prioritising calls, they won't go out to check out an unusual situation if a baby is drowning and their response times are probably better if they are geared up and already on the water.

How many times have you seen Safe Boats out cruising around with machine guns with no other purpose than to show the flag?

I'm not saying that you should call because of every little thing, but if you are a reasonable person, and it sounds like you are, you have a legitimate concern, there is no harm in making a call and reporting exactly what you see.

You might save some bodies life which is good for your soul, and the SAR boys will be much happier to intervene early rather than wait until its too late if a real problem exists, which is good for their souls too.

I say good on you for caring enough to make the call even though it turned out to be a false alarm.

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Just an observation but your profile gives the impression you're primary occupation is Regulatory Oversight.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:39   #39
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Re: Should I have called the Coast Guard

It is. Pretty boring stuff. Did I claim otherwise? In the above example I was pushing a stroller around, not working. I like to eat chips, drink beer and get fat. Much safer and drier than Search and Rescue.


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