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Old 12-11-2014, 20:07   #61
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I think your going to work out here at bar just fine Van. The next round is on me, and we'll talk about how all those passengers can be damned inconvenient. I can't stand more than about 4, I cannot imagine 700. I bet you even get some MD's in there that think they know everything. Damned inconvenient!
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Old 12-11-2014, 20:35   #62
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MArkJ
Yeah, I agree thats the standard version.... But I think its outdated. in sailing ship days when crew were expendable. But just imagine these days if you were 20 miles off Sydney Harbour with 5 children on a birthday cruise who came down with salmonella from the chocolate cake and you only called Pan pan and 4 died.
Why are they going to leave you 20miles out to sea if you only call PanPan? I don;t understand your logic.
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Old 12-11-2014, 21:14   #63
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I don't think the distance offshore is his point. I think he was pointing out that in 2014, people generally value human life above a boats free board.
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Old 12-11-2014, 21:48   #64
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

I'm not taking about distance. MarkJ's point makes abslutely no sense at all. Why are they going to ignore a Pan pan message but react to a mayday - whatever the distance. You don't just say "pan Pan' or "Mayday" into the radio and leave it at that. You also explain what the emergency is.

"Oh I'm sorry your 4 kids are dying - but you only called 'pan pan' and we've just made a cup of tea. Sorry - next time try using may day. Have a nice day"
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Old 12-11-2014, 23:50   #65
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Good post Shufti, you are absolutely right. May day is a scream for help. If you need help, scream for it. I worked in SAR for years, MAY DAY means MAY DAY. Send help now! Pan Pan, means I may need help soon.
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Old 13-11-2014, 00:08   #66
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

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MAY DAY means MAY DAY. Send help now! Pan Pan, means I may need help soon.
MAybe in the US, FV, but in Australia the distinction is more clear cut than that. Boat in immediate peril - MayDay. Person in immediate peril OR boat in danger but not immediate danger - 'PanPan'. Our regs on use state this categorically. I've got time in VMR (voluntary marine rescue) as well so while I have no idea how it's done in the USA - I know exactly whats required/expected down here.

As an aside - we're not as fortunate as you guys and do not have a single professional marine rescue organisation. Everything from our surf lifesavers to our coast guard and VMR (ridiculously, two completely separate volunteer organisations that refuse to amalgamate) is completely donation-funded.

My point was that if even if you use the wrong emergency declaration, someone (from a resue organisation) is still going to come help if they can. No one will take a PAN PAN call less seriously than a mayday - especially once the circumstances for the call are known. I can also assure you that when either a mayday or panpan comes over the air - whoever is on radio duty at VMR/CG takes them both very seriously. They are both treated as 'screams for help'.
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Old 13-11-2014, 00:39   #67
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Interestingly enough, the bottom line in this discussion is that for most of the U.S., it doesn't appear to matter.

If you use pan-pan, the first thing anyone who hears the call is going to do, including the Coast Guard, is decide if you need them immediately, and respond accordingly.

If you use mayday, the first thing anyone who hears the call is going to do, including the Coast Guard, is decide if you need them immediately, and respond accordingly.

I've never heard of commercial traffic other than Washington State Ferries becoming involved in a rescue in Puget Sound, and I doubt that their involvement depended on whether it was a pan-pan call or a mayday call. I bet it was dependent on what help was needed and how quickly it was required.

The Coast Guard will tailor their response to each case, without question. They won't fail to respond to a pan-pan, nor will they send a helicopter to a mayday that doesn't need it.

I've never seen or heard of a penalty being imposed for a good faith mayday in Washington State.

So my conclusion after reading all the misinterpretations, chest beating, posing and good information in this thread is still what it was when I started-- that it's up to the skipper, and my new conclusion is that in Puget Sound, the San Juans and the rest of Washington State, it probably doesn't matter which you use.
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Old 13-11-2014, 00:42   #68
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Thanks you Jammer6 - you put what I was pretty much trying to say much more eloquently than I obviously could.

Quote:
If you use pan-pan, the first thing anyone who hears the call is going to do, including the Coast Guard, is decide if you need them immediately, and respond accordingly.

If you use mayday, the first thing anyone who hears the call is going to do, including the Coast Guard, is decide if you need them immediately, and respond accordingly.
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Old 13-11-2014, 00:45   #69
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

This is what the Australian Marine Radio Operators Handbook actually states about the MAYDAY transmission:
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Old 13-11-2014, 00:48   #70
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shufti View Post
MAybe in the US, FV, but in Australia the distinction is more clear cut than that. Boat in immediate peril - MayDay. Person in immediate peril OR boat in danger but not immediate danger - 'PanPan'. Our regs on use state this categorically. I've got time in VMR (voluntary marine rescue) as well so while I have no idea how it's done in the USA - I know exactly whats required/expected down here.

As an aside - we're not as fortunate as you guys and do not have a single professional marine rescue organisation. Everything from our surf lifesavers to our coast guard and VMR (ridiculously, two completely separate volunteer organisations that refuse to amalgamate) is completely donation-funded.

My point was that if even if you use the wrong emergency declaration, someone (from a resue organisation) is still going to come help if they can. No one will take a PAN PAN call less seriously than a mayday - especially once the circumstances for the call are known. I can also assure you that when either a mayday or panpan comes over the air - whoever is on radio duty at VMR/CG takes them both very seriously. They are both treated as 'screams for help'.
There is one other point that Newt made, and I think it is relevant to us sailboat cruisers, who really don't travel very fast. In Oz, if one called the Volunteer Marine Rescue, after hours (these guys are sort of semi-24/7, crew have to be located, drive to wherever the rescue boat is, and then get to you. I have not seen --ever-- any numbers associated with this period of time. In analog terms, perhaps an eternity, in digital, perhaps over 2 hrs.

So, with all this calling, whether of Pan-pan, or MAYDAY, remember that whoever it is that will answer your call, there is still a gap. It is not instant, like Internet transmissions, there are jobs to be done, territory to be covered, speeds not to be exceeded due to danger to the rescue craft, before assistance can be rendered. And that is part of what one needs to factor in to the decision of Pan-pan vs. Mayday, as well as the nature of the impending emergency. Fire is a very difficult one, because on boats, they can progress so fast.

WINDLOVE, Good on you for bringing this up, because people need to think in advance of various emergencies, and the ways in which they might cope with them.

FamilyVan, would you venture to offer advice to mom & pop sailboat cruisers relative to the OP's first questions?

Newt, given my understanding of dislocated shoulders, Wow, you did GREAT!
excellent handling of the situation, too. It can be hard to get good crew. Do you want them obedient, or capable, or both? then can you get them? [P.S. Thanks on the doc advise on the other thread. I'm coming to the belief that there's no defense to well intentioned failure to grasp the details; Jim's and my lifestyle is so outside the box, that most docs don't get the ramifications. Our lifestyle, our problems.]

Ann
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Old 13-11-2014, 00:53   #71
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

For PAN PAN:
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Old 13-11-2014, 01:38   #72
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

interesting, New Zealand regs are a bit different, Mayday is for a Vessel OR a person;

Distress, urgency and safety calls
Special calls are used in cases of distress, urgency and safety, and
must be properly understood and used.
DISTRESS: the radio-telephone distress signal MAYDAY is used to
indicate that a vessel, aircraft or person is in grave and imminent
danger and requires immediate assistance.
URGENCY: the radio-telephone urgency signal PAN PAN is used to
indicate that a vessel has a very urgent message to transmit about
its safety (such as loss of steering).
SAFETY: the radio-telephone safety signal SÉCURITÉ (pronounced
say-cure-ee-tay) is used to indicate that the calling station has an
important navigational or meteorological warning to transmit.

From the NZ Maritime Safety Radio Handbook.
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Old 13-11-2014, 01:59   #73
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

This is from a UK maritime radio handbook:
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Old 13-11-2014, 02:08   #74
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Interesting that the Australian guidelines seem to specially exclude a medical emergency.

I would have expected the guidelines to identical worldwide.

My VHF radio licence is Australian. The test was done many years ago and I don't remember this exclusion being deemed appropriate then. Perhaps it something new. It does not seem correct to me.

Perhaps they are trying to emphasise the distinction between a urgent medical problem and an urgent life threatening medical problem. If so it is badly worded and judging from members comments it is being interpreted to mean that an urgent life treating medical problem (where the boat is not in danger) is never a justification for a MAYDAY, which I think is incorrect.
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Old 13-11-2014, 02:32   #75
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re: What Justifies a "MAYDAY"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Interesting that the Australian guidelines seem to specially exclude a medical emergency.

I would have expected the guidelines to identical worldwide.

My VHF radio licence is Australian. The test was done many years ago and I don't remember this exclusion being deemed appropriate then. Perhaps it something new. It does not seem correct to me.

Perhaps they are trying to emphasise the distinction between a urgent medical problem and an urgent life threatening medical problem.
I probably did my VHF licence a decade before you and I am sure the book back then said Mayday was for vessels only . Later editions included "persons using it".

I think the part about medical emergency applies to passengers (as in commercial) as the book is written more for commercial qualifications rather than the recreational sailor. If the skipper is in grave danger from a medical condition, the vessel and him are at risk but a passenger - not so much
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