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Old 30-05-2013, 17:18   #91
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I'm asking this because I don't understand how a SAR is accomplished.

The question I have is if the government is capable of facial recognition of a subject on a non-descrip hillside in Afghanistan from 200 miles up, how can they not find a sailboat in a 200 mile diameter circle?

Before anybody crucifies me for asking this, I not on a fault finding mission nor am I on the "Dammit, I'm a taxpayer. I pay for these people to look after my butt." bandwagon. I'm just trying to get a handle on what resources are called into play in these situations.
A simple Perusal of the US military budget and the proportion of it spent on SAR will answer your question. What's technically doable , costing squillions , is not the same as a poor sob lost at sea. That facial recognition in Afghznistan is costing squillions


Furthermore in response to Andrew , AIS is most certainly transforming into a safety system , AIS SARTs are one fully approved , extensions to AIS with extra payload on LEO satellites etc will further enhance remote detection

aIS is and certainly will be a cornerstone in SAR operations going forward

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Old 30-05-2013, 17:20   #92
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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The question I have is if the government is capable of facial recognition of a subject on a non-descrip hillside in Afghanistan from 200 miles up, how can they not find a sailboat in a 200 mile diameter circle?
Several thoughts on this. First, if the government knew they had someone like Osama bin Laden within that 200-mile circle they could bring a lot of resources to bear on the issue, but the really high-resolution stuff is not routinely available everywhere on the earth. Second, the vast majority, like in the high 90% range, of MayDay and other emergency calls turn out to be false alarms, so there is a bit of a problem with people crying wolf. I don't know how many times I have heard the Coast Guard say something like, "There has been a report of a flare being sighted off of Third Beach and all mariners are advised to assist if possible and to report any sightings to the United States Coast Guard." In other words, they don't really believe it until they get more information. Happens every day hundreds of times all over the country, and 90+% of these are false alarms. Even the vast majority of EPIRB signals turn out to be false alarms. If the government used every asset on every report of an emergency the costs would be phenomenal, and chances would be good that meanwhile some real emergency wouldn't get the attention it deserved.
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Old 30-05-2013, 17:27   #93
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

One of the lessons in this sad situation certainly is the effectiveness and speed of EPIRB in this emergency.

That the EPIRB was detached from the vessel is a seperate issue with a different solution.

I note there was a lot of interest in PLB's at the recent Santuary cove Boat Show. They are getting ever more affordable.

Have to agree with Jedi that the lack of use of modern effective safety equiptment seems for many to be about cost not effectiveness.

I note that Australian authorities are currently heavily promoting purchase and registration of EPIRBS and personal locator beacons on television. I would be sure that they have determined that their use is saving time and cost of rescues both on land and at sea. Their mandatory requirement on vessels putting to sea is I suspect saving them money and has proven very effective in the large areas covered by Australian and NZ authorities.

There was a trochus diver lost who fell out off his dingy in the Swain reefs (In Coral Sea) late last week. A PLB could have saved him and significantly reduced search costs.
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Old 30-05-2013, 17:28   #94
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Several thoughts on this. First, if the government knew they had someone like Osama bin Laden within that 200-mile circle they could bring a lot of resources to bear on the issue, but the really high-resolution stuff is not routinely available everywhere on the earth. Second, the vast majority, like in the high 90% range, of MayDay and other emergency calls turn out to be false alarms, so there is a bit of a problem with people crying wolf. I don't know how many times I have heard the Coast Guard say something like, "There has been a report of a flare being sighted off of Third Beach and all mariners are advised to assist if possible and to report any sightings to the United States Coast Guard." In other words, they don't really believe it until they get more information. Happens every day hundreds of times all over the country, and 90+% of these are false alarms. Even the vast majority of EPIRB signals turn out to be false alarms. If the government used every asset on every report of an emergency the costs would be phenomenal, and chances would be good that meanwhile some real emergency wouldn't get the attention it deserved.
You're right.

I just thought that the NSA or whoever would have something focused over a rocket launching area that's adjacent to an "unfriendly" country that they could loan out on these sort of situations.
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Old 30-05-2013, 17:36   #95
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

It should be a mandatory law to have a full keeled boat to sail on the ocean.
Geeesh! WTF!
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Old 30-05-2013, 17:37   #96
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
A simple Perusal of the US military budget and the proportion of it spent on SAR will answer your question. What's technically doable , costing squillions , is not the same as a poor sob lost at sea. That facial recognition in Afghznistan is costing squillions

Dave

Unfortunate but true.

Kinda sucks when your life becomes part of the government sliding scale though.

FWIW, I do think the USCG did the best they could with the resources allotted to them.
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Old 30-05-2013, 17:41   #97
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Unfortunate but true.

Kinda sucks when your life becomes part of the government sliding scale though.

FWIW, I do think the USCG did the best they could with the resources allotted to them.
Of course they did, the USCG is one of the finest and most able rescue services around

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Old 30-05-2013, 17:42   #98
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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I clearly stated that added cost is the only valid argument against an AIS transponder. Why do you confirm that and then attack me on this? You should disagree with me before you attack

If you want to be found by SAR but can't afford a transponder, then stop going out to bars for a month... or whatever else money goes to. If that is not possible, take a weekend job for a month. Me, with my 64' boat, also had to earn every dime I have with hard work. I was the 23ft boat guy too, make no mistake, I know exactly how it's like.
It isn't cost, I said AIS is not for rescue, don't buy it for rescue.
If you are saying don't borrow an Epirb, but work extra hours or not eat this month to buy an AIS, I would say that is bad advice.
Otherwise, I don't know what you are saying.

Nice boat, don't really care if you dug ditches for 30 years or dad gave it to you, doesn't change that AIS is not for rescue, and epirbs should be free or loaned in my opinion.

AIS would not have saved Jay, epirb would have if it was attached properly, at least found sooner.

If he actually wanted to be found, then I think the best theory is he put the epirb on his person, and then the boom knocked him off the boat, the epirb was pulled away from him (a pocket?), he drowned and the boat sailed itself to cuba. If that is the case, the lesson to learn is securely attach your epirb, (and maybe don't let a boom smack you).
The other thing is don't paint your boat white.

Do we know if an autopsy will be done? Might help a bit.
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Old 30-05-2013, 18:01   #99
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

I'm having difficulty following the thought process of many posting here. I grew up in the PNW and spent many years working on vessels both inside and outside at a time when you worked 12 months out of the year (if you were lucky) and never stayed in port because of weather or sea conditions. If we were fortunate, we would have a VHF or on a really extravagantly equipped ship, we might also have radar. Occasionally, we'd have a ship to shore radio but never used it because it was so expensive. Sure, we lost shipmates but that was part of the risk of commercial work on the water.
Today, I'm listening to those who feel that more regulations, rules and requirements are necessary before venturing offshore. Is not the reason we are attracted to the sea is because of the risk, the solitude and purposefully following the path not travelled by others?
Our Brother who ventured off on his own made a choice and passed on doing what he loved in his beloved vessel. A tragedy for his family, friends and others who had a chance to know him. My heart aches for them but to use his passing as a springboard to force equipment that many of us cannot afford nor how to operate does not make sense to me. Phil
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Old 30-05-2013, 18:07   #100
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_f View Post
I'm asking this because I don't understand how a SAR is accomplished.

The question I have is if the government is capable of facial recognition of a subject on a non-descrip hillside in Afghanistan from 200 miles up, how can they not find a sailboat in a 200 mile diameter circle?

Before anybody crucifies me for asking this, I not on a fault finding mission nor am I on the "Dammit, I'm a taxpayer. I pay for these people to look after my butt." bandwagon. I'm just trying to get a handle on what resources are called into play in these situations.
Because that technology is reserved for finding terrorists, not solo sailors. The resources are limited so the use of these gizmos is prioritized. As much as a grieving family would like the resources of the CIA, NSA etc. focused on finding their stricken loved one on a disabled boat, they must un derstand that the satellite time should be used for the greater good of our nation and not diverted to find one lost soul. I wish it were not true, but these things cost money and there is not an unlimited supply of it.
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Old 30-05-2013, 18:17   #101
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It isn't cost, I said AIS is not for rescue, don't buy it for rescue.
If you are saying don't borrow an Epirb, but work extra hours or not eat this month to buy an AIS, I would say that is bad advice.
Otherwise, I don't know what you are saying.

Nice boat, don't really care if you dug ditches for 30 years or dad gave it to you, doesn't change that AIS is not for rescue, and epirbs should be free or loaned in my opinion.

AIS would not have saved Jay, epirb would have if it was attached properly, at least found sooner.

If he actually wanted to be found, then I think the best theory is he put the epirb on his person, and then the boom knocked him off the boat, the epirb was pulled away from him (a pocket?), he drowned and the boat sailed itself to cuba. If that is the case, the lesson to learn is securely attach your epirb, (and maybe don't let a boom smack you).
The other thing is don't paint your boat white.

Do we know if an autopsy will be done? Might help a bit.
aIS has a rescue element. That is the case with approved AIS SARTs , just because you keep saying other things does not make it so, going forward AIs will play an increasing Role on rescue.

I would regard a personal AID SART as a very good option ( along with epirbs etc )

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Old 30-05-2013, 18:50   #102
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Because that technology is reserved for finding terrorists, not solo sailors. . . . . .
Actually the USA has also spent trillions on the 'war on drugs', with interestingly one area of focus exactly where this incident happened! After all that money we "SHOULD" be able to see every single vessel all the time thru that area.

But most of that money has been wasted, and we have not gotten the kind of results or assets or capabilities we "should" have from that vast spending.
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Old 30-05-2013, 19:59   #103
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
aIS has a rescue element. That is the case with approved AIS SARTs , just because you keep saying other things does not make it so, going forward AIs will play an increasing Role on rescue.

I would regard a personal AID SART as a very good option ( along with epirbs etc )

Dave
I said it was NOT DESIGNED FOR RESCUE, like an EPIRB.

The coast guard says this about AIS-SART, in other words, get an EPIRB.

"With respect to using AIS safety related text messages in emergency
situations, users must be aware that they may not be received, recognized or acted upon as Global
Maritime Distress Safety Systems (GMDSS) messages would be by the Coast Guard, other competent
authorities or maritime first responders. Thus AIS must not be relied upon as the primary means for
broadcasting distress or urgent communications"

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/AIS/0510.pdf
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Old 30-05-2013, 20:25   #104
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

The most significant reason sailing alone is dangerous. If we go overboard, tethered or not, the odds of getting back on the boat without assistance are very small. My greatest concern (because there is no room on a small boat for fear), is fire - because it may force me into the water.

Jay probably succumbed to hypothermia long before he was an appreciable distance from Florida. The fact the EPIRB was activated near Florida also suggests Jay and not contact with the water was responsible for it's activation. He must have been able to retrieve and activate the EPIRB from below before going overboard. We may never know why he ended up in the water. Perhaps he fainted and fell overboard.

The hazard we face sailing alone, again, is if assistance of any kind is needed we're on our own.

Sad.

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Old 30-05-2013, 20:42   #105
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Re: Missing Boat found in Cuba: Lessons Learned

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I was referring to those who question why the boat and occupant were not found earlier, whose objections were advanced as the rationale for mandating AIS for all vessels.
I don't recall anyone mandating AIS for anyone. My feeling is if you want to install it fine, I did and I'm very glad. No doubt the EPIRB worked unfortunately it did not stay with Jay's boat. They found the EPIRB but, not the boat. It sailed on. If he had had AIS there's a good chance the boat would have been found a lot sooner and certainly before his boat hit CUBA.

As for some of the comments about AIS and SAR. Yes it's not specifically for SAR but, it can be used to help. My unit has a red button labeled SRM (search rescue mode) If I hit it my AIS transponder sends out a message that my boat is in trouble and that can be picked up by other AIS receivers. It gives my position data, boat name etc... I hope I never have to hit it but, it's nice that it's available. It may not be as immediate as a EPIRB but, as the scenario here discussed nice to have both in case the EPIRB gets disconnected/disabled from the boat.

My AIS system is separate from my VHF radio for obvious reasons. Has it's own GPS antenna and transponder antenna as well. Is not mounted on the mast. I bought it to keep an eye on boat traffic (the big guys) when I cruise but, the fact that it can aid in SAR is a bonus. I use it in judging what the other boats are doing because I can see their data course, speed etc... I can tell if I actually need to alter course or if they are going to be clear of me. I find a very useful tool to have on board. Even fun for just ship spotting in harbors like New York.
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