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Old 11-11-2014, 22:27   #31
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post

The Coast Guard actively discourages trying to substitute a cell phone for a VHF, or a phone call for a radio call.
That's odd. The USCG called me on the sat phone when I was a few hundred miles off the coast in 60kt winds. They had my MMSI and could've called (DSC) on the HF, but chose sat phone instead.

They knew we were out there (worried spouse) and wanted to check we were OK (we were fine) and verify we had EPIRB.



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Old 11-11-2014, 22:46   #32
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Pretty simple distinction betwen mayday and pan pan calls here in OZ.

May Day:
The distress call ‘mayday’ may be used only if the boat is in grave or imminent danger and immediate assistance is required (e.g. if the boat is sinking or on fire). This call has priority over all other transmissions.

PAnPAn:
The urgency call ‘pan pan’ should be used when the distress call cannot be justified but a very urgent message about the safety of your boat or a person needs to be transmitted (e.g. your vessel is disabled and drifting onto a lee-shore or a crew member is seriously ill).

So if THE BOAT is in grave danger - MAyday.

If a person is in grave danger - PAnPAn

edit - source: http://www.msq.qld.gov.au/Safety/Marine-radios.aspx which is a state govt website, but the federal Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate of Proficiency (MROCP) course (yes, we're technically supposed to be licensed for vhf/hf here) and exam teaches same thing.
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Old 11-11-2014, 23:56   #33
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
That's odd. The USCG called me on the sat phone when I was a few hundred miles off the coast in 60kt winds. They had my MMSI and could've called (DSC) on the HF, but chose sat phone instead.

They knew we were out there (worried spouse) and wanted to check we were OK (we were fine) and verify we had EPIRB.



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They use the best technology available. But they really prefer not to use cell or sat phones where reasonable.

Keep in mind that when a Mayday is called not only the SAR units, but also every other boat on the water nearby is legally required to immediatly make best possible speed towards the vessel in danger. At least until the point that SAR responders either waive off other vessels or it becomes clear that a closer vessel will arrive first, and that they have the capability to handle the emergent without additional aid.

So yes if you are out daysailing and hear a Mayday call, your legally required responce is to immediatly make best possible speed towards the boat. This is part of why Mayday's should only be used in the most extreme of circumstances.

See https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/public/c4...gulation33.htm
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Old 12-11-2014, 00:15   #34
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Reading the link you provided, it looks to me like the skipper of a daysailer enters a reason for not responding in his log, and goes back to tacking.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:49   #35
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
Declined. I learned my point of view from the responder, the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard actively discourages trying to substitute a cell phone for a VHF, or a phone call for a radio call.

I think only a fool thinks he can predict when a mayday will occur.

Since we both think the other is a fool, why don't we let the rest of the folks here discuss mayday calls?
Play nice kids. I think your both right and should examine each others post more thoroughly. Or is that a redundancy?
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:08   #36
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I was in this situation 3 years ago in the straits of Juan De Fuca. Crash jibe broke my arm, dislocated my other arm, broke ribs and signs of internal bleeding. My inexperienced crew got on the VHF and immediately called mayday, even though I was in extreme pain, I asked them to put the mike up to my face and cancelled the mayday and said that it was a pan-pan, that the boat was intact and that we were proceeding to Port Angles. Later it became clear because to the violent conditions that the crew could not sail it in by themselves, and a rescue diver with sailing experience was dropped and sailed the boat almost to the harbor, were I was taken off the the USCG and taken to a hospital.
The point is, you do not call a Mayday because of the risks people take to get to you. (as mentioned above) It is a very serious thing to call a Mayday. I will not unless I am sinking and there are people that will die if the boat sinks.
In another situation my friend and fellow CFer were out in a storm when he got cardiac ischemia. The CG picked it up because I sailed to the nearest port and was trying to hail the marina so that an ambulance would meet us at the dock. They decided to come and meet us just outside the harbor. Their call. I could have called Pan Pan but there was literally nobody else out around Cape Flattery at that time. In coastal US waters, in emergency just call the Coast Guard. They are full of good advice. Why call any alarm destination at all?
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:36   #37
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I'm thinking the gist of this is that it is the call of the Captain as to whether lives are in danger. And if in doubt, likely it should be a MAYDAY. I hope I never have to call one.


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Old 12-11-2014, 11:59   #38
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I would say the Heart Attack is a may day. Let's the cg know that you need help NOW. It will make it easier for the operator and RCC to interpret your needs. So instead of standing around discussing it amongst themselves, they will dispatch valuable life saving assets first and discuss it while those assets are on route. Remember, the best chances to survive a heart attack, early CPR, early defriualation, early advanced medical care.

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Old 12-11-2014, 13:12   #39
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Originally Posted by WindLove View Post
I'm thinking the gist of this is that it is the call of the Captain as to whether lives are in danger. And if in doubt, likely it should be a MAYDAY. I hope I never have to call one.


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This really is the crux of the issue. The standard is a subjective one, ie did the person involved really believe that lives were at risk. If so then make the call. I would rather have a questionable call go up than have someone die. But it is also incumbent on skippers to recognize that not every serious problem warrants a mayday. If you need assistance make the call with out hesitation, i certainly would (though thankfully have never been in that situation).

And it is very fact dependant. As pointed out a MOB in warm water is a far less serious issue than in freezing tempratures. Sinking is always serious, but if you are five miles from a travel lift its a major problem, if you are 100 miles out you may need rescue before the boat sinks.
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Old 12-11-2014, 13:33   #40
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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I would say the Heart Attack is a may day. Let's the cg know that you need help NOW. It will make it easier for the operator and RCC to interpret your needs. So instead of standing around discussing it amongst themselves, they will dispatch valuable life saving assets first and discuss it while those assets are on route. Remember, the best chances to survive a heart attack, early CPR, early defriualation, early advanced medical care.

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FamilyVan- I forgot to mention that I am a physician that treats cardiac problems on a daily basis, as well as a ACLS (cardiac life support) instructor. A MI is a Mayday, but in that situation I spoke of I could be in quicker that they could come out after me. It takes a while to get mobilized, and by the time they got their ship out I was at the harbor.

Perhaps I should say something I really feel needs to be said. You can get on the mick and call anything you want, but where I sail it often takes hours if not a day to get help. You ought to prepare more for what your going to be doing during that time that worrying about what is proper etiquette for talking with the coast guard.
1. Can I handle the boat alone?
2. Can I get everyone into a life raft and do I have VHF, GPS and ERIPB ready to go?
3. How do I handle the 99 out of a hundred cases- sickness, broken bones, engine malfunction, etc that occur often? What is my relation with Seatow and USCG when that happens?
Those are the things that most likely will happen- DO YOU HAVE A PLAN????
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Old 12-11-2014, 13:46   #41
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Newt, your profession has nothing to do with my answer what so ever. Heart Attack=Serious threat to human life=may day, most days of the week. You could be a wizard and that would still be my answer, because most people aren't. And yes, I have a plan.

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Old 12-11-2014, 14:14   #42
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Yes, but what gave the patient quicker care- me calling a mayday and giving all information immediately, heaving too so they could find me, and waiting for rescue or
Recognizing the symptoms of cardiac crisis, giving first aid ( which you should all be trained to do), and running (gale force wind at my back) into the harbor.
I am not sure you have had this experience, so I will tell you. The second is a lot faster. Self rescue is not only efficient, it is also often the fastest.
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Old 12-11-2014, 14:30   #43
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

First of all- I was answering the OP, this wasn't about you. No I didn't suggest heaving too, you made that part up. Yes, proceed to dock while administering first aid. Maybe the may day will only result in an ambulance meeting you at dock. But that is definitely better than an ambulance not meeting you at dock. Even the most rookie RIB operator can pace a sailboat under way, so no need to lose time heaving too. I can recognise symptoms of a cardiac crisis just fine thank you. Given what a bog deal you are making about this, I get the impression I've returned to dock for medical emergencies more times than you have left the dock. Period.

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Old 12-11-2014, 14:34   #44
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Newt, your profession has nothing to do with my answer what so ever. Heart Attack=Serious threat to human life=may day, most days of the week. You could be a wizard and that would still be my answer, because most people aren't. And yes, I have a plan.

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Old 12-11-2014, 14:42   #45
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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Given what a bog deal you are making about this, I get the impression I've returned to dock for medical emergencies more times than you have left the dock. Period.

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I bow to superior experience. I just hope you are not having a medical emergency now. Please mediate on the photo (I recently took off the dock) till you get feeling better.
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