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Old 19-11-2014, 20:33   #286
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I read that to mean that there is a different signal you should use if a person is in distress or there is a medical emergency... specifically the use of the "Urgency Signal" whatever that is.

I suppose this would allow them to dispatch the appropriate resources, which differ based on emergency.
The 'urgency signal' is the "Pan Pan"!
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Old 19-11-2014, 20:44   #287
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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"124.2 (In the "new" version) The Distress Signal indicates that the vessel or person using it is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requests immediate assistance. It does not extend to situations where immediate assistance is sought on behalf of a person, for example, a medical emergency. The urgency signal should be used in these situations. "

It says specifically that the distress signal (mayday) does not extend to situations where help is needed for just a person, and gives as an example a medical emergency.

That implies that such mayday situations exist.

So my question is this: how can a person be threatened by grave and imminent danger without the vessel being in danger, and without it being medical?

Specifically, under what conditions is a person (as in "...vessel or person") threatened with grave and imminent danger such that a mayday call is necessary without it being a medical issue when the boat is not in danger?
I think your trying to parse it too much. But, a medical urgency with a single handed sailor could be one such situation. MOB being called by the MOB could be another, such as person in the water with a personal alert. That's not a medical urgency.

I think there is a degree in which the terms are synonymous too though.

In other words, I don't think the recommendations are meant to be exegeted to this extent. The main thing (In Australia) the main emphasis between the two calls when considering whether to call a "mayday" or an "urgency" call is not so much the nature of the emergency, as both are 'urgent' but to ask the question, "do I need specific help, or do I just need anyone to help right now". If it's specific help, such as in a medical emergency then an 'urgency call' will suffice and will provide everything that a 'mayday' will. But if it's of such an emergency that I just need help from anyone that can reach me, then that's a "mayday".
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Old 19-11-2014, 21:46   #288
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
"do I need specific help, or do I just need anyone to help right now". If it's specific help, such as in a medical emergency then an 'urgency call' will suffice and will provide everything that a 'mayday' will. But if it's of such an emergency that I just need help from anyone that can reach me, then that's a "mayday".
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Old 19-11-2014, 23:00   #289
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Fair call
FWIW, I quoted you as your post (251) as you started off with "Here is what the Canadians say" so I thought you may also have knowledge on how Canadians pronounce the related stuff.

Presumably you are more familiar with Danish pronunciation so how do the Danish pronounce PAN PAN?

And are there any Canadians still on board this wandering thread and would care to enlighten me on their pronunciation of this slightly drifted topic?
Wotname - I think we had this discussion before (not you and I) on another thread.

The Danes have Danishfied (?) the french pronounciation so it is not quite "pain-pain" or "pane-pane" but a bit shorter and flatter

Shorten the "a" in an american english pronounciation of "pan" and you'll be close
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Old 19-11-2014, 23:07   #290
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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I think your trying to parse it too much. But, a medical urgency with a single handed sailor could be one such situation. MOB being called by the MOB could be another, such as person in the water with a personal alert. That's not a medical urgency.

I think there is a degree in which the terms are synonymous too though.

In other words, I don't think the recommendations are meant to be exegeted to this extent. The main thing (In Australia) the main emphasis between the two calls when considering whether to call a "mayday" or an "urgency" call is not so much the nature of the emergency, as both are 'urgent' but to ask the question, "do I need specific help, or do I just need anyone to help right now". If it's specific help, such as in a medical emergency then an 'urgency call' will suffice and will provide everything that a 'mayday' will. But if it's of such an emergency that I just need help from anyone that can reach me, then that's a "mayday".

agreed - good conclusion
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Old 20-11-2014, 03:12   #291
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Nav aids are looked after by the state maritime services. Each state has it own and they go by slightly different names. There is probably a federal service (apart from the Royal Australian Navy) but if there is, I don't know its name.
For many years the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service looked after the 'big' lights , now they are all automated ( or switched off ) and the CLS's role has passed to AMSA. From wiki with the usual reservations... 'Most of the lighthouses and lightvessels in Australia are managed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), though the AMSA usually only manages the lighting equipment, with local authorities managing the lighthouses and parklands. In New South Wales the lighthouses and parklands are mostly managed by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water or the New South Wales Department of Lands.[9] In the Northern Territory some of the lighthouses are managed by the Darwin Port Corporation.[10] In South Australia some of the stations are managed by the Department for Environment and Heritage.[13] In Tasmania, many lighthouses are managed by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.[14] In Victoria, harbour aids are maintained by the Port of Melbourne Corporation in the Melbourne area and by the Victorian Regional Channels Authority elsewhere,[36] while (lights in ) parklands are mostly managed by Parks Victoria.[15] In Western Australia some of the stations are managed by the Department of Environment and Conservation.'

No wonder nobody knows which side is up in Oz.....
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Old 20-11-2014, 03:28   #292
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I've heard a couple of pretty odd 'maydays' on VHF in Oz over the years... nobody went to jail or was fined or anything like that as a result....
One example... bottom end of Port Phillip, 03dark on a Sunday morning, not a breath of wind, flood tide.
An echo on the radar puttering along at about 4 knots... then speed drops to about 1 knot in the vicinty of the Popes Eye Anullus....
'Mayday etc...'
Lonsdale signal station responds.
Punter, ' I'm out of fuel and need a tow'
Lonsdale ( paraphrasing here ) ' Hang on a mo...'


several minutes pass....

Lonsdale ' I've just spoken to Queenscliff coastguard, they say you are no danger, if you drift into shallow water drop your anchor............. they'll be out after breakfast'.

If you send a mayday in good faith nobody will give you grief... set off your epirb when out tramping just because you will be late home for tea and it will be a whole different matter

Meanwhile back in Chile.... contact the Armada over any incident involving your yacht ( not the people on her but maybe smacking a rock) and you can expect a full on safety inspection before you are allowed to leave your next port.....
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Old 20-11-2014, 09:55   #293
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I have a difficult time with the semantics in my own country much less internationally.


I'll bet pan pan , pawn pawn , porn porn, would work most everywhere?
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Old 20-11-2014, 10:24   #294
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I've been out on my boat, driven 1600 miles back and forth through the snow, and you guys are still discussing what constitutes a "Mayday". I find it interesting that the only real emergencies reported firsthand here were handled without a "Mayday" call. I bet most of the true emergencies start by "USCG (or other emergency body) repeated three times.
An exception to that is when your VHF does reach and you have to relay a message (where's your SSB? or Sat phone?) Mayday communications are routinely relayed by larger ships. That would be a reason to use it if I am far enough off the coast. Pan Pan calls are also relayed.
So where's the beef? Besides Wyoming...
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Old 20-11-2014, 12:19   #295
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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I've been out on my boat, driven 1600 miles back and forth through the snow, and you guys are still discussing what constitutes a "Mayday". I find it interesting that the only real emergencies reported firsthand here were handled without a "Mayday" call. I bet most of the true emergencies start by "USCG (or other emergency body) repeated three times.
An exception to that is when your VHF does reach and you have to relay a message (where's your SSB? or Sat phone?) Mayday communications are routinely relayed by larger ships. That would be a reason to use it if I am far enough off the coast. Pan Pan calls are also relayed.
So where's the beef? Besides Wyoming...
I'm not sure if your not just trying to get a rise but I'll humour you then so you don't have to read the weeks posts.

The reason why it's been 'debated', is firstly because it's quite clear that some clearly don't understand the circumstances in which calling a mayday should be used, let alone even know what an 'urgency' call is.

And the second reason is because it's become clear that despite there being an 'international standard', different nations have different rules, expectations around those standards. So it's important that boaters when going somewhere new perhaps research what constitutes a 'mayday' in that country.

Personally, I wouldn't mind betting that very many people have no formal training or proficiency certificates/licenses to operate radios. And that some of the problems come from that.
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Old 20-11-2014, 13:32   #296
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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I'm not sure if your not just trying to get a rise but I'll humour you then so you don't have to read the weeks posts.

The reason why it's been 'debated', is firstly because it's quite clear that some clearly don't understand the circumstances in which calling a mayday should be used, let alone even know what an 'urgency' call is.

And the second reason is because it's become clear that despite there being an 'international standard', different nations have different rules, expectations around those standards. So it's important that boaters when going somewhere new perhaps research what constitutes a 'mayday' in that country.

Personally, I wouldn't mind betting that very many people have no formal training or proficiency certificates/licenses to operate radios. And that some of the problems come from that.
I didn't know there was such a thing as certificate/ license other than Ham or commercial licenses. I think here it is engineer commercially, not the guy on the mic.. It may be different in different places?

Will have to agree on checking what is correct in different countries. However it all sounds like a nit.

Never been there never done that but from what I gather checking on entry and departure laws is the larger problem. A mayday mayday, or pan pan will probably be recognized world wide? Keying a mic. isn't hard.

CQDX me.
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Old 20-11-2014, 16:48   #297
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

CQDX DE OYQU2

Guess I'm far enough away from you to make a CQDX.
In Europe, lack of a Radio operating license onboard a boat can lead to problems.
Never been checked in UK, but I think it is quite common in mainland Europe for port authorities to check if someone onboard has a license, especially on visiting boats.
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Old 20-11-2014, 19:20   #298
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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It may be different in different places?
Many (most?) countries require the operator of marine VHF equipment to have a licence.

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Never been checked in UK, but I think it is quite common in mainland Europe for port authorities to check if someone onboard has a license, especially on visiting boats.
Yes it is a bit of paper many authorities in Europe are keen to inspect for some reason.


It should be remembered that in a genuine emergency situation there are often legal exceptions that allow you to attract attention "by any means necessary" including operating radio equipment, or frequencies, that you not licensed for.

It is a good idea to show visitors/crew how to operate the VHF/SSB/DSC in an emergency in case you become incapacitated.
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Old 20-11-2014, 19:55   #299
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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It is a good idea to show visitors/crew how to operate the VHF/SSB/DSC in an emergency in case you become incapacitated.

I have the "Idiots Guide" to making a call or DSC call posted at each radio.
Tested by the girlfriend and proved to work, not sure if that also proves her an idiot
Nuff said
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Old 21-11-2014, 08:23   #300
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Many (most?) countries require the operator of marine VHF equipment to have a licence.



Yes it is a bit of paper many authorities in Europe are keen to inspect for some reason.


It should be remembered that in a genuine emergency situation there are often legal exceptions that allow you to attract attention "by any means necessary" including operating radio equipment, or frequencies, that you not licensed for.

It is a good idea to show visitors/crew how to operate the VHF/SSB/DSC in an emergency in case you become incapacitated.
Unless something has change in the US there is a license to have a VHS radio onboard however it is simply a $s for the Fed.. No operator proficiency involved and I doubt if a call is made it is cross referenced to a vessel . I never had an SSB onboard seems like that really only required showing offshore need?
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