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Old 29-05-2010, 14:36   #1
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pirate How NOT to Use Your VHF

Radio's Ross helps out in sea drama - Yahoo! News UK



Some MORONS think this is a great joke to play at sea....
Its not the first time...
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Old 29-05-2010, 15:21   #2
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One time I was sailing right in the middle of Lake Union, probably one of the most heavily populated lakes in the world. I noticed that someone was showing flares. I interrupted my ghosting around to motor over and lend assistance. Turns out they were "just lightin' some flares!"
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Old 29-05-2010, 15:40   #3
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Wow. The first time ever, in my not so humble opinion, that Jonathan Ross has ever been of any use.

Getting the microphone stuck open could have been accidental - any thing from a sticky switch to dropping hand mic down where it wedged in a gap. If it *was* being done deliberately as a "joke" then somebody needs keelhauling.
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Old 29-05-2010, 15:50   #4
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Don't know if any of you guys used to do the Biscay/N Spain/Portugal run regularly in the 90's.. but there used to be a right pain in the ass doing a "Phillipino Monkey" thing most nights on Ch16... crude suggestions etc...
I started leaving my VHF off for peace and quiet..
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Old 29-05-2010, 22:16   #5
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Some MORONS think this is a great joke to play at sea....
To err is human.

We have been through countries where people like to sing on #16, some use it to chant religious texts when they think Christians may be about, and some just like to blow into the microphone. Of course, many do just intentionally leave the VHF transmitting next to a music speaker.

Mostly people the world over are pretty responsible with it.

EPIRB is the main emergency hailing device now so its not a disaster if a VHF transmission can't be heard. But theres a funny thing, often a priority transmission can still cut across an fals or mistaken one.

Last point, I think modern VBHF's only transmit for a minute or 2 before they cut out.
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Old 30-05-2010, 03:47   #6
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To err is human.

We have been through countries where people like to sing on #16, some use it to chant religious texts when they think Christians may be about, and some just like to blow into the microphone. Of course, many do just intentionally leave the VHF transmitting next to a music speaker.

Mostly people the world over are pretty responsible with it.

EPIRB is the main emergency hailing device now so its not a disaster if a VHF transmission can't be heard. But theres a funny thing, often a priority transmission can still cut across an fals or mistaken one.

Last point, I think modern VBHF's only transmit for a minute or 2 before they cut out.
Mark..
Thats all very well for 'Long Distance' cruisers from countries other than the UK where rescue services are more 'Thin on the Ground'.. or on the Oceans
But in the English Channel there's a lot of people in small boats of every description playing on the water either side of the 'Motorway'.. in fact in Europe VHF is THE means of communication between vessels and shore.. Weather forecasts and warnings, shipping movements, area's to avoid because of danger to shipping, firing range restrictions and a host more.. though many new coastal cruisers are now relying more on their mobiles rather than spend on a new VHF... they're the one's that have the problems.
I do know in the US that a VHF call on CH16 repeated for ages requesting assistance can often go unanswered even if your only 2 miles from a USCG station like the one at the Beaufort Inlet in NC..lol.
A fact I learnt from.. fortunately no harm done..

EPIRBS should only be used when the ships gone down.. not activated for anything else..
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Old 30-05-2010, 05:47   #7
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EPIRBS should only be used when the ships gone down.. not activated for anything else..

Hi

I was of that thought too. Till I wondered what I would do if Nicolle went overboard. If I couldnt get her back on board pronto I would fire off the EPIRB.
Then I kinda thought that means I would do it for any life threatening injury to a guest on board.
Then I thought if someone had a non-life threatening injury on board but I did not use the EPIRB so they were in pain for longer, and at some risk, then they could, and definitly would in the USA, sue me.

So my opinion of EPIRB's have changed from a sinking ship to the welfare of those on board

I commend those with EPIRBs to not be afraid to use them. I feel its better to have the rescue services react to a less critical situation than to wait till it gets worse



Mark
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Old 30-05-2010, 06:46   #8
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Hi

I was of that thought too. Till I wondered what I would do if Nicolle went overboard. If I couldnt get her back on board pronto I would fire off the EPIRB.
Then I kinda thought that means I would do it for any life threatening injury to a guest on board.
Then I thought if someone had a non-life threatening injury on board but I did not use the EPIRB so they were in pain for longer, and at some risk, then they could, and definitly would in the USA, sue me.

So my opinion of EPIRB's have changed from a sinking ship to the welfare of those on board

I commend those with EPIRBs to not be afraid to use them. I feel its better to have the rescue services react to a less critical situation than to wait till it gets worse

Mark
Firing off an EPIRB or flares is equivalent to a MAYDAY urgent distress call on VHF. If you don't have a REAL emergency (as in the vessel is on fire or sinking AND beyond your own ability to bring it under control, or a human has a potentially life-threatening health situation) then you deserve to get fined for breaking the law by triggering a SAR under false pretenses. I think "potentially life-threatening" is the key, and that can be a judgment call. It means you don't trigger a rescue if someone has a headache or seasickness, but you do if they have a concussion or have seasickness so prolonged and severe they are medically in danger showing symptoms of "shock" from dehydration.

Another consideration is that some emergencies aren't as dire as others. If you can communicate with authorities via VHF they can understand the nature of the emergency and respond appropriately. Flares or smoke imply line of sight proximity and quick local response. An EPIRB is binary and global (with no ability to communicate circumstance) so I would choose VHF and visual to try to get a response to a health emergency or simple grounding before considering the EPIRB unless the situation was so dire and immediate that I want to "pull out all the stops" to get help by any means.
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Old 30-05-2010, 06:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Hi

I was of that thought too. Till I wondered what I would do if Nicolle went overboard. If I couldnt get her back on board pronto I would fire off the EPIRB.
Then I kinda thought that means I would do it for any life threatening injury to a guest on board.
Then I thought if someone had a non-life threatening injury on board but I did not use the EPIRB so they were in pain for longer, and at some risk, then they could, and definitly would in the USA, sue me.

So my opinion of EPIRB's have changed from a sinking ship to the welfare of those on board

I commend those with EPIRBs to not be afraid to use them. I feel its better to have the rescue services react to a less critical situation than to wait till it gets worse



Mark
That sounds like an excellent thread markj
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Old 30-05-2010, 07:10   #10
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A few weeks ago on the Chesapeake, not far from where I was sailing, there was an MOB call. Apparently it was only a drill, but some knuklehead keyed the radio and everyone, including the Coast Guard, heard it. It only took ~ 5 minutes to straighten out.
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Old 30-05-2010, 09:38   #11
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Seems like we get this a lot, mostly on busy weekends. Someone sets their mic down on the key, or maybe they do it on purpose, and the rest of us are stuck listening to their awful music, or their engine revving. (Somehow, it's never good music, and they always manage to be far enough away to be scratchy and distorted, yet just close enough to block out nearly everything else.) Sometimes literally for HOURS at a stretch.
And then along come the people who don't seem to catch on to how the radio works, so periodically we get "Whoever has their mic keyed, turn it off!" coming through too.
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Old 30-05-2010, 16:39   #12
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"Whoever has their mic keyed, turn it off!"

Around here, I've heard the Coast Guard say that!
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Old 30-05-2010, 16:49   #13
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Coats Guard Sector Baltimore has RDF equipment......they can usually catch the knuckleheads.

I always love the self appointed Harbor Po-leece who bellow into their radios about the six knot limit......is that some kind of dyhdrogen monoxide poisoning symptom?
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Old 30-05-2010, 20:27   #14
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All new model VHF and other radio's since the year 2000 have a DSC function built into them. That is that little button underneath the little red flapper on the front of your radio. Read up in your radio's manual and you will find all kinds of neat things to do with that feature. And in a saturated radio environment - or any place - that little button under the red flapper can save your life.
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