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Old 08-10-2013, 19:00   #1
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When to announce "security"


Just wonder under what circumstances you have had to call "security". When does this become a "pan pan"?

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Old 08-10-2013, 19:06   #2

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Re: When to announce "security"

Radio, VHF

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Old 08-10-2013, 19:27   #3
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Re: When to announce "security"

Engine broken down in the English Channel - in shipping lanes (on a windless day) and engine being worked on = a Securité (as a navigational hazard)

Engine on fire in the English Channel - and being extinguished by self = a Pan Pan (something that is a problem that could become a May day if plan A don't work ).

Engine on fire and boat as well = a Mayday.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:49   #4
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Re: When to announce "security"

When I'm crossing any busy shipping channel or harbor mouth in the fog. Every so often while transiting in a channel in the fog. Most commercial harbors have designated areas to call as you pass, it's in the Coast Pilot (US).

Beyond that, David put it better than I could. Another Pan Pan might be when you spot some other hazard (large log or container in a shipping lane, for example) and just want to let others know.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:36   #5
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Re: When to announce "security"

CaptTom - the container or other potentially dangerous debris is worth a VHF call, but it is a good example for a "Securite" call, since a "PAN PAN" call means that you have a problem and are looking for assistance.
I hear "Securite" quite a bit in the BVI when cruise ships arrive or leave, particulary the medium-sized ones going into the narrow channel in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda.

p.s. I've got to call "PAN PAN" once when my rudder broke off (which was rather unpleasant), and once recently to get assistance on a charter boat that was taking on water and sinking in an anchorage. The first attempt didn't get any help, but the seconds worked wonders and soon there were 9 helpers bailing on the sinking boat and that made all the difference between a story and an insurance claim.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:10   #6

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Re: When to announce "security"

I was taught that a "securite'" call was for things of concern to all in the water, for instance, a partially submerged obstacle.

"Pan Pan" I was taught was to alert boats and ships in the vicinity that I was in distress and that it might become serious enough for a "Mayday" call. Ihave heard those several times and have heard responses from other boats that they will move in that direction and stand by. Don't know what else happened as we had to switch to the bridge channel. We were not near the boat in distress.

I called what amounted to a "pan pan" although I didn't use those words since I was calling Boat US. Eckerd College's Search and Rescue program (EC-SAR) heard me call Boat US. We didn't have a cell phone on the boat, so they switched us to 68, and EC-SAR continued to listen, heard the details, thought they might be of additional help and came to us quite rapidly.

I was surprised and asked them why they had come, and they said they had heard the decription of the boat (very small for the seas we were in) and heard that someone would have to go to the bow to catcha towline. They came in case someone fell into the water.

They stayed off my bow, out of the way but ready to act for 20 min. or so until Boat US was there, watched me crawl to the bow and manage to catch the towline, made sure we were under safe control, then waved good bye and raced off to help someone else.

I would have caused our situation a Pan-Pan as it was not *yet* life threatening, but it did have the potential to become so. Two other boats were staying near us for the same reason. So we didn't actually have to use the words "pan-pan," but I think it a good idea because other boats' radios (and yours, perhaps) may get a little garbled in tranmission. If you say "Pan Pan," they know that you consider your situation serious.

I also called out a securite' once in the ICW for a large log that was nearly submerged. The Coast Guard called back, got the lat and long, and retrieved it, and thanked us for the call. Someone on my boat said "Oh don't do that -- someone else will or already has," but ... no one else had.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:24   #7
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Re: When to announce "security"

Securite can also be called if you are doing something unexpected, like backing down a channel or sailing through a restricted waterway more used to motorized passage. For instance, people who have engines are expected to enter Toronto's Inner Harbour via a restricted channel known as the Western Gap with said engines engaged. You can keep sail's the engine part they want you to use. If you are an engineless dinghy, rowboat or kayak, but possess a VHF, you would not call "Securite"; if you were a perfectly rigged bigger sailboat but were out of fuel or the engine otherwise won't start, you would call it, as you have less ability to maneuver in a relatively narrow and commericalized space.

Pan-pan is also called for medical emergencies that aren't going to kill you or threaten the boat, but could compromise your ability to focus on its operation. For instance, if I am sailing semi-close to home or an urban area served by marine police or CG (say under 10 NM), if someone fell down the companionway and got a compound fracture (or if they conked their head enough to lose consciousness), my first aid training tells me that I should obtain outside help if such help is available. I would call a PAN-PAN to alert other boats (which might contain EMS or doctors, after all) that I have a medical emergency aboard requiring assistance as it is probably more important to get a fast boat alongside (and help to move the patient OR keep them from moving if it's, say, a neck or back injury). One of those 30 foot RIBs with three 225 HPs and five burly cops can get such an injured crew to shore faster than a distracted me at five knots.

MAYDAY, of course, means possible or imminent loss of boat or life. I heard one issued by two kids once, about 8 and 10, whose father had had a heart attack out in Lake Ontario. Clever kids to know what to do, and clever (and lucky) dad to have taught them how to work the radio.

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