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Old 30-07-2015, 03:41   #316
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Yep, definately a mayday. You don't care who comes to help you just need help and you need it NOW. That's a mayday!
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Old 31-07-2015, 05:17   #317
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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I rarely disagree with steady hand, but definitely mayday. I agree her first priority should be a speedy recovery. But if she has time to make a mayday call she should. You can call off the cavalry the second you're back on board.

She should make it a quick call. Mayday, I have a man overboard, I'm in roughly x position. That's it. More details if time permits.

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FV - I almost never disagree with what you've written - but here I beg to differ.

An MOB, depending on the situation is not a Mayday. If the waters are relatively calm, it is daylight and the MOB is clearly in sight and the person(s) still on board feel competent to rescue - then it is not a Mayday.

At night, in bad weather or with a less than competent crew - absolutely a Mayday.

Of course, if everyone wore one of the new AIS MOB senders and boats had AIS - returning and finding the MOB becomes a non-issue - the only issue is can the person be brought on board.
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Old 31-07-2015, 05:22   #318
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

To bring this into the real world. A week ago a Danish couple were sailing from RIga to Tallin. The weather turned rougher than they had expected and they sought towards harbour.

He went on deck to take down the mainsail when a freak wave threw him overboard (no lifeline, no PFD).
His wife got the boat turned and line out to him and he made his way to the back of the boat and started climbing up the bathing ladder when the bottom rung broke and he was tossed back into the waves. He manged to haul himself back to the boat and started climbing the ladder again when the second rung broke, tossing back into the ocean again. He didn't have enough strength to try it a third time and his wife was unable to help him and as a result he drowned.

The wife had called mayday but the rescue boat didn't show up until it was too late.
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Old 31-07-2015, 05:30   #319
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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FV - I almost never disagree with what you've written - but here I beg to differ.

An MOB, depending on the situation is not a Mayday. If the waters are relatively calm, it is daylight and the MOB is clearly in sight and the person(s) still on board feel competent to rescue - then it is not a Mayday.

At night, in bad weather or with a less than competent crew - absolutely a Mayday.

Of course, if everyone wore one of the new AIS MOB senders and boats had AIS - returning and finding the MOB becomes a non-issue - the only issue is can the person be brought on board.
Car,

I think that maybe we are not disagreeing. I'm recommending MayDay in the event that the remaining crew member on board doesn't think they have the ability to rescue the PIW unassisted.

Clear calm conditions with a competent crew, no need to pick up a radio, but in this posters case, he was concerned that his wife lacked the sailing ability to get the boat back to him.

If that's the case, then she needs help quickly on threat of death. The poster asked "may day or pan pan". Of those options, mayday is the one I would choose.

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Old 31-07-2015, 08:05   #320
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

pendragon-
The devil is in the details. A mayday call is reserved for imminent danger to life or property, and as others have pointed out, a MOB situation may be neither.
If you are a waterbaby in warm quiet water and have said "Honey, get me a beer before you try turning the boat" then no radio call is needed.
If you're going to obstruct a channel, a pan-pan might be appropriate.
If the water is cold, the wife has anxiety attacks, the jetskis are out in force...Hell yes, the USCG would rather you call a mayday than debate about the fine points of whether you are uncertain that death may follow.


Since there's just one inexperienced person operating the boat, and a MOB can be killed by simply smacking their head against the hull during normal attempts to board, if she or you thinks she needs help? Call for it before things get too busy.


If there's no urgency, and you both feel like you can work it out without help? "Honey, toss me a beer while you work on that." (G)
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Old 31-07-2015, 11:54   #321
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

If you are unsure, call a Mayday and the coast guard triage will then determine if the call needs to be downgraded. Many times a mayday is called for an engine room fire when it turns out to be a blown hose and lots of steam. The people on the boat are ready to abandon ship as they don't know the problem so they feel it's life and death.
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Old 31-07-2015, 21:00   #322
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

If you are of two minds, I would issue the Mayday rather than the Pan Pan. Better to overstate the emergency and perhaps ask forgiveness, than to understate an emergency and suffer a tragic outcome.

I have issued a Mayday only once. I was pulling out of a small marina in the Bahamas, paying careful attention to the very narrow and shallow (6-7 ft.) unmarked channel, when I noted what I thought at the time was a coconut in the water, well off to the north of the channel. I glanced back at the "coconut" several seconds later and thought I saw a hand above the water next to the coconut. It was a Bahamian struggling in the water.

Looking around I also noticed, some distance away, a small (20 ft.?) outboard boat going furiously in circles, apparently unmanned.

I was in about 8-9 feet of water outside the channel and could see the coral heads around me, making any approach to the man in the water challenging. I immediately issued a Mayday, describing my location, the boat going in circles, and at least one person in the water. I wanted help and I wanted it NOW!

Standing on the bow I directed my wife to edge us closer to the swimmer where I heaved a cockpit float cushion with all my might and got it within ten feet of him. He made it to the cushion and I started to edge in to the shallower water. Running aground or hitting the coral were very real concerns. I eventually heaved the Lifesling to him, we hauled him to the boat and pulled him in over the stern. He was thoroughly exhausted. He told me he was alone on the boat and had fallen off. We gave him a towel and some water and waited for the Mounties to arrive.

Eventually some locals arrived and they managed to corral the boat. Everything worked out for the good, and we had a story to share when we made the next landfall.

I will say that I have never felt so "amped up" as I was during all this and I was relieved that we were successful in saving this man. I am also glad that we had practiced man overboard procedures, though they were primarily aimed at my wife recovering me from the water. In hindsight, we acted efficiently and responsibly - thank God.

The biggest revelation for me was how tiny someone looks in the water at a distance. If I hadn't glanced back the second time, he likely would have been lost. Also, the Lifesling works as advertised.

I have absolutely no qualms issuing a call for help when needed.
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Old 31-07-2015, 21:32   #323
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

If a 2 man crew AND the mob is in sight then IMO the sole crew should focus on recovering the mob.......and fundamental to that is keeping eyes on the mob permanently (a head will dissapear surprisingly quickly with no points of reference. A radio is a distraction that can wait (enough to do manoeuvring vessel).

If sole crew not capable of effecting a recovery then call a mayday - but that scenario reduces chances of recovery - alive!

The choice to call or not is the person onboard - their is no guaranteed right or wrong answer (both could have a happy ending - both could be unsuccessful)....welcome to boats!
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Old 01-08-2015, 00:09   #324
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Originally Posted by Truemettle View Post
If you are unsure, call a Mayday and the coast guard triage will then determine if the call needs to be downgraded. Many times a mayday is called for an engine room fire when it turns out to be a blown hose and lots of steam. The people on the boat are ready to abandon ship as they don't know the problem so they feel it's life and death.
That must be a difference between nations. Sailors can be rest assured that in Australian waters/search and rescue area, no 'triage' occurs and no one down grades a mayday.

You know 'triage' was an Australian invention
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Old 02-08-2015, 01:33   #325
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Rustic Charm,

You're right in that it hasn't happened.....yet.

But there is always a time when it takes time to get the rescue boat crewed up and under way. One of my concerns is that people who want help sometimes wait too long to ask for help; but the flip side of that, as in the case posted by the OP, this one should be between him and his wife. Either she learns to become better crew (maybe he asks for her help and teaches her), or she should get him the help he needs posthaste.

Me, I'd be ashamed to not just pick jim up, no radio call because none needed, but we've practiced, and talk about plans; not everyone prepares. However, if i go abovedecks and can't find Jim, I'd be all over the radio, as well as doing a bunch of other stuff.

Ann
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Old 02-08-2015, 01:54   #326
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Rustic Charm,

You're right in that it hasn't happened.....yet.

But there is always a time when it takes time to get the rescue boat crewed up and under way. One of my concerns is that people who want help sometimes wait too long to ask for help; but the flip side of that, as in the case posted by the OP, this one should be between him and his wife. Either she learns to become better crew (maybe he asks for her help and teaches her), or she should get him the help he needs posthaste.

Me, I'd be ashamed to not just pick jim up, no radio call because none needed, but we've practiced, and talk about plans; not everyone prepares. However, if i go abovedecks and can't find Jim, I'd be all over the radio, as well as doing a bunch of other stuff.

Ann
my wife is a very reluctant participant. And whilst she enjoys sailing when we get places and will listen enough to go over the safety equipment. If I fell over on a transit I'd have much more faith in a plb and hoping the Sharks arnt hungry than in thinking she could come back and get me.
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Old 02-08-2015, 02:01   #327
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post
If you are of two minds, I would issue the Mayday rather than the Pan Pan. Better to overstate the emergency and perhaps ask forgiveness, than to understate an emergency and suffer a tragic outcome.

I have issued a Mayday only once. I was pulling out of a small marina in the Bahamas, paying careful attention to the very narrow and shallow (6-7 ft.) unmarked channel, when I noted what I thought at the time was a coconut in the water, well off to the north of the channel. I glanced back at the "coconut" several seconds later and thought I saw a hand above the water next to the coconut. It was a Bahamian struggling in the water.

Looking around I also noticed, some distance away, a small (20 ft.?) outboard boat going furiously in circles, apparently unmanned.

I was in about 8-9 feet of water outside the channel and could see the coral heads around me, making any approach to the man in the water challenging. I immediately issued a Mayday, describing my location, the boat going in circles, and at least one person in the water. I wanted help and I wanted it NOW!

Standing on the bow I directed my wife to edge us closer to the swimmer where I heaved a cockpit float cushion with all my might and got it within ten feet of him. He made it to the cushion and I started to edge in to the shallower water. Running aground or hitting the coral were very real concerns. I eventually heaved the Lifesling to him, we hauled him to the boat and pulled him in over the stern. He was thoroughly exhausted. He told me he was alone on the boat and had fallen off. We gave him a towel and some water and waited for the Mounties to arrive.

Eventually some locals arrived and they managed to corral the boat. Everything worked out for the good, and we had a story to share when we made the next landfall.

I will say that I have never felt so "amped up" as I was during all this and I was relieved that we were successful in saving this man. I am also glad that we had practiced man overboard procedures, though they were primarily aimed at my wife recovering me from the water. In hindsight, we acted efficiently and responsibly - thank God.

The biggest revelation for me was how tiny someone looks in the water at a distance. If I hadn't glanced back the second time, he likely would have been lost. Also, the Lifesling works as advertised.

I have absolutely no qualms issuing a call for help when needed.
Please share your story on Dockhead's MOB thread. Right now there are very few real life stories.... just theorists. I don't believe most people fully understand the "amped up" part of the equation. Most believe a rescuer can follow a detained carefully constructed check list. They don't understand the adrenalin rush and how it gives you that mental focus and super human strength. The list goes out the window.

Thanks.

Ken
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:38   #328
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Please let me clarify the term "amped up" because a fellow on the forum was possibly mistaken in my use.

Last weekend, we had a situation develop on our boat when our staysail was deployed and flogging wildly in 35 knot winds, our furling line outer sheath became jammed up in a block making it impossible to furl in the sail without going forward to remedy the situation, whilst waves were splashing and breaking over the bow. In no way was I or my wife "amped up" nearly as much as when I faced a MOB situation alone.

Being "amped up" due to the impending demise of a staysail comes no where near the "amped up" feeling of being responsible for preventing the death of a person. In a MOB, the adrenalin released is off the scale... Just ask anyone who's been in that exact situation. Like the fellow who's posts I was responding to.

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Old 02-08-2015, 07:34   #329
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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That must be a difference between nations. Sailors can be rest assured that in Australian waters/search and rescue area, no 'triage' occurs and no one down grades a mayday.

You know 'triage' was an Australian invention
Our club had a class where the USCG was invited. The sailors got into a what scenario constituted a Mayday versus PanPan call. The USCG person said just issue a mayday, we'll decide what level of response is needed.

After the meeting thinking about it, it made sense for the reality of the U.S. , since we have (essentially) no training requirements to use a boat you hear on the radio on a regular basis Maydays for obviously non-Mayday situations, and/or Maydays for not even close to PanPan situations. As an example I have heard more than a couple of Maydays that turned out to be an out of gas problem. Which were easily determined to be non life threatening and non urgent situations, so was either rebroadcast as a security does anyone want to help, or the tow boat company was called.

The USCG has no idea whether the no nothing runabout person is calling or a sailor that a lot of time invested in trying to know what is the appropriate call, so the reality is they have to triage each call. Experienced people nitpicking over a situation that borders on whether it should be a Mayday or PanPan comes nowhere near what the reality of competence for the majority of calls the USCG receives is actually.
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:31   #330
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Re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Our club had a class where the USCG was invited. The sailors got into a what scenario constituted a Mayday versus PanPan call. The USCG person said just issue a mayday, we'll decide what level of response is needed.

After the meeting thinking about it, it made sense for the reality of the U.S. , since we have (essentially) no training requirements to use a boat you hear on the radio on a regular basis Maydays for obviously non-Mayday situations, and/or Maydays for not even close to PanPan situations. As an example I have heard more than a couple of Maydays that turned out to be an out of gas problem. Which were easily determined to be non life threatening and non urgent situations, so was either rebroadcast as a security does anyone want to help, or the tow boat company was called.

The USCG has no idea whether the no nothing runabout person is calling or a sailor that a lot of time invested in trying to know what is the appropriate call, so the reality is they have to triage each call. Experienced people nitpicking over a situation that borders on whether it should be a Mayday or PanPan comes nowhere near what the reality of competence for the majority of calls the USCG receives is actually.
That's interesting to know the context over there. I would have just assumed that the US was more rigorous on training and procedures than us. You rarely hear a mayday out this way and when it does happen it's even rarer to hear that it was unnecessary. If anything, as Kate said, there are those times when people are reluctant to call one and shouldn't be.
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